Surveys Indicate Concern About Infection
Two surveys released recently, one from APIC and one conducted at AORN, illustrate the need for more effort to reduce the risk of infection in various settings.
C. Diff Prevention Efforts Not Enough
According to a nationwide survey of infection preventionists released from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), 70% of infection preventionists have adopted additional interventions in their healthcare facilities to address C. difficile infection (CDI) since March of 2010, but only 42% have seen a decline; 43 percent have not seen a decline. While CDI rates have climbed to all-time highs in recent years, few facilities (21% of respondents) have added more infection prevention staff to address the problem.
APIC conducted the 2013 CDI Pace of Progress survey in January 2013 to assess activities that have been implemented in U.S. healthcare facilities in the last three years to prevent and control CDI.
"We are encouraged that many institutions have adopted stronger measures to prevent CDI, but as our survey indicates, more needs to be done to reduce the spread of this infection," said Jennie Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC, APIC president-elect and clinical epidemiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "We are concerned that staffing levels are not adequate to address the scope of the problem."
The Pace of Progress survey also noted an inconsistency between cleaning efforts and monitoring. More than nine in 10 respondents (92%) have increased the emphasis on environmental cleaning and equipment decontamination practices since March 2010, but 64% said they rely on observation, versus more accurate and reliable monitoring technologies to assess cleaning effectiveness. Fourteen percent said that nothing was being done to monitor room cleaning.
APIC has released a second, expanded edition of its Implementation Guide on CDI that showcases tools and resources for prevention programs.
OR Nurses Concerned About Infection Rates
A survey at the recent Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) 60th Annual Congress in San Diego found that 96% of operating room nurses responding cited a concern about surgical site infections (SSIs); 92% noted it's "very important" to develop new and better infection prevention strategies.
In a random sample of 145 operating room nurses responding to the survey conducted at AORN by IrriMax® Corporation, 64% indicate concerns are increasing about SSI in their facility. In addition, 68% think the increase in the incidence of antibiotic-resistant infections, along with the lack of new antibiotics to treat infections (29%) build a case for concern.