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1.
JAMA Intern Med ; 2023 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240965

ABSTRACT

This quality improvement study examines the association between the discontinuation of universal admission testing for SARS-CoV-2 infections and hospital-onset SARS-CoV-2 infections in England and Scotland.

2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(5): e2315829, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238026
3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-7, 2022 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302506

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection policies at leading US medical centers in the context of the initial wave of the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant. DESIGN: Electronic survey study eliciting hospital policies on masking, personal protective equipment, cohorting, airborne-infection isolation rooms (AIIRs), portable HEPA filters, and patient and employee testing. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: "Hospital epidemiologists from U.S. News top 20 hospitals and 10 hospitals in the CDC Prevention Epicenters program."  As it is currently written, it implies all 30 hospitals are from the CDC Prevention Epicenters program, but that only applies to 10 hospitals.  Alternatively, we could just say "Hospital epidemiologists from 30 leading US hospitals." METHODS: Survey results were reported using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Of 30 hospital epidemiologists surveyed, 23 (77%) completed the survey between February 15 and March 3, 2022. Among the responding hospitals, 18 (78%) used medical masks for universal masking and 5 (22%) used N95 respirators. 16 hospitals (70%) required universal eye protection. 22 hospitals (96%) used N95s for routine COVID-19 care and 1 (4%) reserved N95s for aerosol-generating procedures. 2 responding hospitals (9%) utilized dedicated COVID-19 wards; 8 (35%) used mixed COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 units; and 13 (57%) used both dedicated and mixed units. 4 hospitals (17%) used AIIRs for all COVID-19 patients, 10 (43%) prioritized AIIRs for aerosol-generating procedures, 3 (13%) used alternate risk-stratification criteria (not based on aerosol-generating procedures), and 6 (26%) did not routinely use AIIRs. 9 hospitals (39%) did not use portable HEPA filters, but 14 (61%) used them for various indications, most commonly as substitutes for AIIRs when unavailable or for specific high-risk areas or situations. 21 hospitals (91%) tested asymptomatic patients on admission, but postadmission testing strategies and preferred specimen sites varied substantially. 5 hospitals (22%) required regular testing of unvaccinated employees and 1 hospital (4%) reported mandatory weekly testing even for vaccinated employees during the SARS-CoV-2 omicron surge. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 infection control practices in leading hospitals vary substantially. Clearer public health guidance and transparency around hospital policies may facilitate more consistent national standards.

4.
JAMA ; 329(7): 535-536, 2023 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297993

ABSTRACT

This Viewpoint discusses the failure of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' SEP-1 sepsis outcome improvement initiative to improve patients' sepsis outcomes and suggests changing the focus of sepsis quality metrics from processes to outcomes.


Subject(s)
Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Quality Indicators, Health Care , Sepsis , Humans , Shock, Septic , United States
5.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286505

ABSTRACT

Management of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has evolved considerably during the pandemic. We investigated rates and causes of ventilator-associated events (VAEs) in COVID-19 patients in the late versus early waves in 4 Massachusetts hospitals. VAE rates per episode decreased, rates per ventilator day were stable, and most cases were caused by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

6.
Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol ; 3(1): e44, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276118

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the lack of agreement regarding the definition of aerosol-generating procedures and potential risk to healthcare personnel. We convened a group of Massachusetts healthcare epidemiologists to develop consensus through expert opinion in an area where broader guidance was lacking at the time.

7.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-9, 2023 Mar 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280863

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of commonly used case definitions for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations on case counts and outcomes. DESIGN, PATIENTS, AND SETTING: Retrospective analysis of all adults hospitalized between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2022, at 5 Massachusetts acute-care hospitals. INTERVENTIONS: We applied 6 commonly used definitions of COVID-19 hospitalization: positive severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay within 14 days of admission, PCR plus dexamethasone administration, PCR plus remdesivir, PCR plus hypoxemia, institutional COVID-19 flag, or COVID-19 International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes. Outcomes included case counts and in-hospital mortality. Overall, 100 PCR-positive cases were reviewed to determine each definition's accuracy for distinguishing primary or contributing versus incidental COVID-19 hospitalizations. RESULTS: Of 306,387 hospital encounters, 15,436 (5.0%) met the PCR-based definition. COVID-19 hospitalization counts varied substantially between definitions: 4,628 (1.5% of all encounters) for PCR plus dexamethasone, 5,757 (1.9%) for PCR plus remdesivir, 11,801 (3.9%) for PCR plus hypoxemia, 15,673 (5.1%) for institutional flags, and 15,868 (5.2%) for ICD-10 codes. Definitions requiring dexamethasone, hypoxemia, or remdesivir selected sicker patients compared to PCR alone (mortality rates 12.2%, 10.7%, and 8.8% vs 8.3%, respectively). Definitions requiring PCR plus remdesivir or dexamethasone did not detect a reduction in in-hospital mortality associated with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. ICD-10 codes had the highest sensitivity (98.4%) but low specificity (39.5%) for distinguishing primary or contributing versus incidental COVID-19 hospitalizations. PCR plus dexamethasone had the highest specificity (92.1%) but low sensitivity (35.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Commonly used definitions for COVID-19 hospitalizations generate variable case counts and outcomes and differentiate poorly between primary or contributing versus incidental COVID-19 hospitalizations. Surveillance definitions that better capture and delineate COVID-19-associated hospitalizations are needed.

8.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 3(1): 25, 2023 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2242228

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: For each of the COVID-19 pandemic waves, hospitals have had to plan for deploying surge capacity and resources to manage large but transient increases in COVID-19 admissions. While a lot of effort has gone into predicting regional trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, there are far fewer successful tools for creating accurate hospital-level forecasts. METHODS: Large-scale, anonymized mobile phone data has been shown to correlate with regional case counts during the first two waves of the pandemic (spring 2020, and fall/winter 2021). Building off this success, we developed a multi-step, recursive forecasting model to predict individual hospital admissions; this model incorporates the following data: (i) hospital-level COVID-19 admissions, (ii) statewide test positivity data, and (iii) aggregate measures of large-scale human mobility, contact patterns, and commuting volume. RESULTS: Incorporating large-scale, aggregate mobility data as exogenous variables in prediction models allows us to make hospital-specific COVID-19 admission forecasts 21 days ahead. We show this through highly accurate predictions of hospital admissions for five hospitals in Massachusetts during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: The high predictive capability of the model was achieved by combining anonymized, aggregated mobile device data about users' contact patterns, commuting volume, and mobility range with COVID hospitalizations and test-positivity data. Mobility-informed forecasting models can increase the lead-time of accurate predictions for individual hospitals, giving managers valuable time to strategize how best to allocate resources to manage forthcoming surges.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have needed to make challenging decisions around staffing and preparedness based on estimates of the number of admissions multiple weeks ahead. Forecasting techniques using methods from machine learning have been successfully applied to predict hospital admissions statewide, but the ability to accurately predict individual hospital admissions has proved elusive. Here, we incorporate details of the movement of people obtained from mobile phone data into a model that makes accurate predictions of the number of people who will be hospitalized 21 days ahead. This model will be useful for administrators and healthcare workers to plan staffing and discharge of patients to ensure adequate capacity to deal with forthcoming hospital admissions.

9.
Semin Respir Crit Care Med ; 44(1): 173-184, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235481

ABSTRACT

Timely and accurate data on the epidemiology of sepsis is essential to inform public policy, clinical practice, and research priorities. Recent studies have illuminated several ongoing questions about sepsis epidemiology, including the incidence and outcomes of sepsis in non-Western countries and in specialized populations such as surgical patients, patients with cancer, and the elderly. There have also been new insights into the limitations of current surveillance methods using administrative data and increasing experience tracking sepsis incidence and outcomes using "big data" approaches that take advantage of detailed electronic health record data. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has fundamentally changed the landscape of sepsis epidemiology. It has increased sepsis rates, helped highlight ongoing controversies about how to define sepsis, and intensified debate about the possible unintended consequences of overly rigid sepsis care bundles. Despite these controversies, there is a growing consensus that severe COVID-19 causing organ dysfunction is appropriate to label as sepsis, even though it is treated very differently from bacterial sepsis, and that surveillance strategies need to be modified to reliably identify these cases to fully capture and delineate the current burden of sepsis. This review will summarize recent insights into the epidemiology of sepsis and highlight several urgent questions and priorities catalyzed by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sepsis , Humans , Aged , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Sepsis/epidemiology , Sepsis/therapy
10.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(7): 817-825, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516479

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Viruses are more common than bacteria in patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. Little is known, however, about the frequency of respiratory viral testing and its associations with antimicrobial utilization. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: The study included 179 US hospitals. PATIENTS: Adults admitted with pneumonia between July 2010 and June 2015. METHODS: We assessed the frequency of respiratory virus testing and compared antimicrobial utilization, mortality, length of stay, and costs between tested versus untested patients, and between virus-positive versus virus-negative patients. RESULTS: Among 166,273 patients with pneumonia on admission, 40,787 patients (24.5%) were tested for respiratory viruses, 94.8% were tested for influenza, and 20.7% were tested for other viruses. Viral assays were positive in 5,133 of 40,787 tested patients (12.6%), typically for influenza and rhinovirus. Tested patients were younger and had fewer comorbidities than untested patients, but patients with positive viral assays were older and had more comorbidities than those with negative assays. Blood cultures were positive for bacterial pathogens in 2.7% of patients with positive viral assays versus 5.3% of patients with negative viral tests (P < .001). Antibacterial courses were shorter for virus-positive versus -negative patients overall (mean 5.5 vs 6.4 days; P < .001) but varied by bacterial testing: 8.1 versus 8.0 days (P = .60) if bacterial tests were positive; 5.3 versus 6.1 days (P < .001) if bacterial tests were negative; and 3.3 versus 5.2 days (P < .001) if bacterial tests were not obtained (interaction P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: A minority of patients hospitalized with pneumonia were tested for respiratory viruses; only a fraction of potential viral pathogens were assayed; and patients with positive viral tests often received long antibacterial courses.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , Community-Acquired Infections , Pneumonia, Viral , Viruses , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Community-Acquired Infections/drug therapy , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1788-e1789, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2188371
12.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(6): 687-713, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185241

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this document is to highlight practical recommendations to assist acute care hospitals to prioritize and implement strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), ventilator-associated events (VAE), and non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) in adults, children, and neonates. This document updates the Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals published in 2014. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA), and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection , Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia , Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated , Pneumonia , Adult , Child , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia/epidemiology , Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia/prevention & control , Hospitals , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infection Control , Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical/adverse effects
16.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 35(4): 353-362, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948611

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: COVID-19 has catalyzed a wealth of new data on the science of respiratory pathogen transmission and revealed opportunities to enhance infection prevention practices in healthcare settings. RECENT FINDINGS: New data refute the traditional division between droplet vs airborne transmission and clarify the central role of aerosols in spreading all respiratory viruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), even in the absence of so-called 'aerosol-generating procedures' (AGPs). Indeed, most AGPs generate fewer aerosols than talking, labored breathing, or coughing. Risk factors for transmission include high viral loads, symptoms, proximity, prolonged exposure, lack of masking, and poor ventilation. Testing all patients on admission and thereafter can identify early occult infections and prevent hospital-based clusters. Additional prevention strategies include universal masking, encouraging universal vaccination, preferential use of N95 respirators when community rates are high, improving native ventilation, utilizing portable high-efficiency particulate air filters when ventilation is limited, and minimizing room sharing when possible. SUMMARY: Multifaceted infection prevention programs that include universal testing, masking, vaccination, and enhanced ventilation can minimize nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections in patients and workplace infections in healthcare personnel. Extending these insights to other respiratory viruses may further increase the safety of healthcare and ready hospitals for novel respiratory viruses that may emerge in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans
17.
Critical care explorations ; 4(5), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1918930

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: The prevalence and causes of sepsis in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are poorly characterized. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of sepsis caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) versus other pathogens in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional, retrospective chart review of 200 randomly selected patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at four Massachusetts hospitals between March 2020 and March 2021. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The presence or absence of sepsis was determined per Sepsis-3 criteria (infection leading to an increase in Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score by ≥ 2 points above baseline). Sepsis episodes were assessed as caused by SARS-CoV-2, other pathogens, or both. Rates of organ dysfunction and in-hospital death were also assessed. RESULTS: Sepsis was present in 65 of 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations (32.5%), of which 46 of 65 sepsis episodes (70.8%) were due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, 17 of 65 (26.2%) were due to both SARS-CoV-2 and non-SARS-CoV-2 infections, and two of 65 (3.1%) were due to bacterial infection alone. SARS-CoV-2–related organ dysfunction in patients with sepsis occurred a median of 1 day after admission (interquartile range, 0–2 d) and most often presented as respiratory (93.7%), neurologic (46.0%), and/or renal (39.7%) dysfunctions. In-hospital death occurred in 28 of 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations (14.0%), including two of 135 patients without sepsis (1.5%), 16 of 46 patients with sepsis (34.8%) due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, and 10 of 17 patients with sepsis (58.8%) due to both SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: Sepsis occurred in one in three patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and was primarily caused by SARS-CoV-2 itself, although bacterial infection also contributed in a quarter of sepsis cases. Mortality in COVID-19 patients with sepsis was high, especially in patients with mixed SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial sepsis. These findings affirm SARS-CoV-2 as an important cause of sepsis and highlight the need to improve surveillance, recognition, prevention, and treatment of both viral and bacterial sepsis in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(12): 2230-2233, 2022 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922208

ABSTRACT

We compared healthcare worker severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection rates between March and August 2020 in 2 similar hospitals with high vs low airborne infection isolation room utilization rates but otherwise identical infection control policies. We found no difference in healthcare worker infection rates between the 2 hospitals, nor between patient-facing vs non-patient-facing providers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control
20.
Intensive Crit Care Nurs ; 70: 103227, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828574

ABSTRACT

Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at high risk for healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) due to the high prevalence of invasive procedures and devices, induced immunosuppression, comorbidity, frailty and increased age. Over the past decade we have seen a successful reduction in the incidence of HAI related to invasive procedures and devices. However, the rate of ICU-acquired infections remains high. Within this context, the ongoing emergence of new pathogens, further complicates treatment and threatens patient outcomes. Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the challenge that an emerging pathogen provides in adapting prevention measures regarding both the risk of exposure to caregivers and the need to maintain quality of care. ICU nurses hold a special place in the prevention and management of HAI as they are involved in basic hygienic care, steering and implementing quality improvement initiatives, correct microbiological sampling, and aspects antibiotic stewardship. The emergence of more sensitive microbiological techniques and our increased knowledge about interactions between critically ill patients and their microbiota are leading us to rethink how we define HAIs and best strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent these infections in the ICU. This multidisciplinary expert review, focused on the ICU setting, will summarise the recent epidemiology of ICU-HAI, discuss the place of modern microbiological techniques in their diagnosis, review operational and epidemiological definitions and redefine the place of several controversial preventive measures including antimicrobial-impregnated medical devices, chlorhexidine-impregnated washcloths, catheter dressings and chlorhexidine-based mouthwashes. Finally, general guidance is suggested that may reduce HAI incidence and especially outbreaks in ICUs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Catheter-Related Infections , Cross Infection , Adult , Chlorhexidine , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Intensive Care Units , SARS-CoV-2
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