The epidemiology society worked with a few medical organizations to update the guidance to limit infections.
Today, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA) announced it has published its Strategies to Prevent Clostridioides difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2022 Update in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
“C difficile is an urgent health threat, and hospitals need system-wide commitment to stop it,” said lead author Larry K. Kociolek, MD, vice president of System Preparedness, Prevention, and Response at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a member of SHEA. “Because the use of antibiotics is strongly associated with C difficile infections, antimicrobial stewardship—an approach to making sure these drugs are prescribed and used appropriately—is a strong first-line defense.”
Although healthcare-associated C diff cases have leveled off in recent years, community-associated C difficile cases have risen, increasing the risk to hospitalized patients and enhancing the need for quick and accurate diagnosis.
The updated guidance also emphasizes assessment of the adequacy of room cleaning and addresses procedures for cleaning equipment and the environment of patients with C difficile. The authors also address the need for timely alerts when patients are newly diagnosed; data reporting; education of environmental services personnel, administrators, patients and families; and additional steps hospitals can take if C difficile incidence remains high after implementing essential practices.
This publication coincides with the SHEA conference that is going on this week.
SHEA recruited subject matter experts in CDI prevention to lead the panel of members representing the Compendium partnering organizations including the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and The Joint Commission, as well as the CDC.
This compendium is a multiyear, highly collaborative guidance-writing effort by over 100 experts from around the world, and updates the 2014 Strategies to Prevent Clostridium difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals.