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Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 8(SUPPL 1):S499, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1746369


Background. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted hospitalizations and healthcare utilization. Diversion of infection prevention resources toward COVID-19 mitigation limited routine infection prevention activities such as rounding, observations, and education in all areas, including the peri-operative space. There were also changes in surgical care delivery. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SSI rates has not been well described, especially in community hospitals. Methods. We performed a retrospective cohort study analyzing prospectively collected data on SSIs from 45 community hospitals in the southeastern United States from 1/2018 to 12/2020. We included the 14 most commonly performed operative procedure categories, as defined by the National Healthcare Safety Network. Coronary bypass grafting was included a priori due to its clinical significance. Only facilities enrolled in the network for the full three-year period were included. We defined the pre-pandemic time period from 1/1/18 to 2/29/20 and the pandemic period from 3/1/20 to 12/31/20. We compared monthly and quarterly median procedure totals and SSI prevalence rates (PR) between the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods using Poisson regression. Results. Pre-pandemic median monthly procedure volume was 384 (IQR 192-999) and the pre-pandemic SSI PR per 100 cases was 0.98 (IQR 0.90-1.04). There was a transient decline in surgical cases beginning in March 2020, reaching a nadir of 185 cases in April, followed by a return to pre-pandemic volume by June (figure 1). Overall and procedure-specific SSI PRs were not significantly different in the COVID-19 period relative to the pre-pandemic period (total PR per 100 cases 0.96 and 0.97, respectively, figure 2). However, when stratified by quarter and year, there was a trend toward increased SSI PR in the second quarter of 2020 with a PRR of 1.15 (95% CI 0.96-1.39, table 1). Conclusion. The decline in surgical procedures early in the pandemic was shortlived in our community hospital network. Although there was no overall change in the SSI PR during the study period, there was a trend toward increased SSIs in the early phase of the pandemic (figure 3). This trend could be related to deferred elective cases or to a shift in infection prevention efforts to outbreak management.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 7(SUPPL 1):S594, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1185947


Background. Correct personal protective equipment (PPE) use is key to prevent infection. Observations on a single unit at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) prior to COVID-19 (October 2019-February 2020) showed low rates of correct PPE use among healthcare workers (HCWs) (Figure 1). In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the VA implemented new PPE protocols. Based on our initial observations, we were concerned that incorrect use of PPE may increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure among HCWs. Resident physicians, who work at many sites, may be at high-risk for incorrect PPE use due to rapid turnover and limited site-specific PPE training. We aimed to assess and improve COVID-19 PPE use among internal medicine residents rotating at the VA TVHS. Figure 1: Pre-COVID-19 Observations of Adherence to Contact Precaution Protocols at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Methods. We used the plan, do, study, act (PDSA) model. Prior to starting VA rotations, residents were emailed PPE education to review. We implemented a 1-hour video conference PPE protocol review at rotation start followed by in-person PPE use evaluations for residents performed by infectious diseases fellows on day 2 and day 5-6 post-review to provide just-in-time educational intervention. Errors at each PPE don/ doff step were tracked. Correct PPE use data from both observations were compared using McNemar's test. Baseline and post-implementation resident surveys assessed PPE use knowledge and comfort. Results. Pre-implementation survey response rate was 72% (21/29);19/21(91%) reported knowing which PPE to use and 16/21(76%) reported knowing how to safely don/doff PPE. Twenty of 29 (69%) residents completed both observations. Errors decreased by 55% (p=0.0045) from 17/20 (85%) to 6/20 (30%) between initial and follow up observations. Errors in hand hygiene, inclusion of all donning/doffing steps, and PPE reuse decreased, but PPE don/doff order errors increased (Figure 2). Postproject survey response rate was 16/29 (55%). All 16 reported knowing which PPE to use and how to safely don/doff PPE, and 11/16 (69%) residents felt both online and in-person interventions were helpful. Figure 2: COVID-19 PPE Errors and Correction Types by Observation Conclusion. Correct COVID-19 PPE use is essential to protect HCWs and patients. Just-in-time education intervention for PPE training may yield higher correct use compared to pre-recorded or online training.