Publications by authors named "Matthew H Samore"

199 Publications

Efficient and effective single-step screening of individual samples for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using multi-dimensional pooling and Bayesian inference.

J R Soc Interface 2021 06 16;18(179):20210155. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Rapid and widespread implementation of infectious disease surveillance is a critical component in the response to novel health threats. Molecular assays are the preferred method to detect a broad range of viral pathogens with high sensitivity and specificity. The implementation of molecular assay testing in a rapidly evolving public health emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, can be hindered by resource availability or technical constraints. We present a screening strategy that is easily scaled up to support a sustained large volume of testing over long periods of time. This non-adaptive pooled-sample screening protocol employs Bayesian inference to yield a reportable outcome for each individual sample in a single testing step (no confirmation of positive results required). The proposed method is validated using clinical specimens tested using a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for SARS-CoV-2. This screening protocol has substantial advantages for its implementation, including higher sample throughput, faster time to results, no need to retrieve previously screened samples from storage to undergo retesting, and excellent performance of the algorithm's sensitivity and specificity compared with the individual test's metrics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205536PMC
June 2021

Natural language processing for the surveillance of postoperative venous thromboembolism.

Surgery 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT; Department of Surgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT. Electronic address:

Background: The objective of the study was to develop a portal natural language processing approach to aid in the identification of postoperative venous thromboembolism events from free-text clinical notes.

Methods: We abstracted clinical notes from 25,494 operative events from 2 independent health care systems. A venous thromboembolism detected as part of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was used as the reference standard. A natural language processing engine, easy clinical information extractor-pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis (EasyCIE-PEDVT), was trained to detect pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis from clinical notes. International Classification of Diseases discharge diagnosis codes for venous thromboembolism were used as baseline comparators. The classification performance of EasyCIE-PEDVT was compared with International Classification of Diseases codes using sensitivity, specificity, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, using an internal and external validation cohort.

Results: To detect pulmonary embolism, EasyCIE-PEDVT had a sensitivity of 0.714 and 0.815 in internal and external validation, respectively. To detect deep vein thrombosis, EasyCIE-PEDVT had a sensitivity of 0.846 and 0.849 in internal and external validation, respectively. EasyCIE-PEDVT had significantly higher discrimination for deep vein thrombosis compared with International Classification of Diseases codes in internal validation (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.920 vs 0.761; P < .001) and external validation (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.921 vs 0.794; P < .001). There was no significant difference in the discrimination for pulmonary embolism between EasyCIE-PEDVT and International Classification of Diseases codes.

Conclusion: Accurate surveillance of postoperative venous thromboembolism may be achieved using natural language processing on clinical notes in 2 independent health care systems. These findings suggest natural language processing may augment manual chart abstraction for large registries such as National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.04.027DOI Listing
June 2021

Coordinated Strategy for a Model-Based Decision Support Tool for Coronavirus Disease, Utah, USA.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 05;27(5):1259-1265

The coronavirus disease pandemic has highlighted the key role epidemiologic models play in supporting public health decision-making. In particular, these models provide estimates of outbreak potential when data are scarce and decision-making is critical and urgent. We document the integrated modeling response used in the US state of Utah early in the coronavirus disease pandemic, which brought together a diverse set of technical experts and public health and healthcare officials and led to an evidence-based response to the pandemic. We describe how we adapted a standard epidemiologic model; harmonized the outputs across modeling groups; and maintained a constant dialogue with policymakers at multiple levels of government to produce timely, evidence-based, and coordinated public health recommendations and interventions during the first wave of the pandemic. This framework continues to support the state's response to ongoing outbreaks and can be applied in other settings to address unique public health challenges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2705.203075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084489PMC
May 2021

Association Between Contact Precautions and Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Veterans Affairs Hospitals.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 03 1;4(3):e210971. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

IDEAS Center of Innovation, Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Importance: The effectiveness and importance of contact precautions for endemic pathogens has long been debated, and their use has broad implications for infection control of other pathogens.

Objective: To estimate the association between contact precautions and transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) across US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort study used mathematical models applied to data from a population-based sample of adults hospitalized in 108 VA acute care hospitals for at least 24 hours from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2017. Data were analyzed from May 2, 2019, to December 11, 2020.

Exposures: A positive MRSA test result, presumed to indicate contact precautions use according to the VA MRSA Prevention Initiative.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The main outcome was the association between contact precautions and MRSA transmission, defined as the relative transmissibility attributed to contact precautions. A contact precaution effect estimate (<1 indicates a reduction in transmission associated with contact precautions) was estimated for each hospital and then pooled over time and across hospitals using meta-regression.

Results: In this cohort study of 108 VA hospitals, more than 2 million unique individuals had over 5.6 million admissions, of which 14.1% were presumed to have contact precautions with more than 8.4 million MRSA surveillance tests. Pooled estimates found associations between contact precautions and transmission to be stable from 2008 to 2017, with estimated transmission reductions ranging from 43% (95% credible interval [CrI], 38%-48%) to 51% (95% CrI, 46%-55%). Over the entire 10-year study period, contact precautions reduced transmission 47% (95% CrI, 45%-49%), and the intrafacility autocorrelation coefficient estimate was 0.99, suggesting consistent estimates over time within facilities. Larger facilities and those with higher admission screening compliance observed additional reductions in transmission associated with contact precautions (relative rate, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.74-0.96 and 0.74; 95% CI, 0.58-0.96, respectively) compared with smaller facilities and those with lower admission screening compliance. Facilities in the southern US had a smaller transmission reduction attributable to contact precautions (relative rate, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.01-1.28) compared with facilities in other regions in the US.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study of adults in VA hospitals, transmissibility of MRSA was found to be reduced by approximately 50% among patients with contact precautions. These results provide an explanation for decreasing acquisition rates in VA hospitals since the MRSA Prevention Initiative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0971DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961311PMC
March 2021

Antibiotic use and presumptive pathogens in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Feb 23. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Empirical antibiotic use is common in the hospital. Here, we characterize patterns of antibiotic use, infectious diagnoses, and microbiological lab results among hospitalized patients and aim to quantify the proportion of antibiotic use that is potentially attributable to specific bacterial pathogens.

Methods: We conducted an observational study using electronic health records from acute care facilities in the United States Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. From October 2017 to September 2018, 482,381 hospitalizations for 332,657 unique patients that met all criteria were included. At least one antibiotic was administered at 202,037 (41.9%) of included hospital stays. We measured frequency of antibiotic use, microbiological specimen collection, and bacterial isolation by diagnosis category and antibiotic group. A tiered system based on specimen collection sites and diagnoses was used to attribute antibiotic use to presumptive causative organisms.

Results: Specimens were collected at 130,012 (64.4%) hospitalizations with any antibiotic use, and at least one bacterial organism was isolated at 35.1% of these stays. Frequency of bacterial isolation varied widely by diagnosis category and antibiotic group. Under increasingly lenient criteria, 10.2% to 31.4% of 974,733 antibiotic days-of-therapy could be linked to a potential bacterial pathogen.

Conclusions: Overall, the vast majority of antibiotic use could be linked to either an infectious diagnosis or microbiological specimen. Nearly half of antibiotic use occurred when there was a specimen collected but no bacterial organism identified, underscoring the need for rapid and improved diagnostics to optimize antibiotic use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab170DOI Listing
February 2021

Robust Testing in Outpatient Settings to Explore COVID-19 Epidemiology: Disparities in Race/Ethnicity and Age, Salt Lake County, Utah, 2020.

Public Health Rep 2021 05 4;136(3):345-353. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Objective: US-based descriptions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have focused on patients with severe disease. Our objective was to describe characteristics of a predominantly outpatient population tested for SARS-CoV-2 in an area receiving comprehensive testing.

Methods: We extracted data on demographic characteristics and clinical data for all patients (91% outpatient) tested for SARS-CoV-2 at University of Utah Health clinics in Salt Lake County, Utah, from March 10 through April 24, 2020. We manually extracted data on symptoms and exposures from a subset of patients, and we calculated the adjusted odds of receiving a positive test result by demographic characteristics and clinical risk factors.

Results: Of 17 662 people tested, 1006 (5.7%) received a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2. Hispanic/Latinx people were twice as likely as non-Hispanic White people to receive a positive test result (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.1), although the severity at presentation did not explain this discrepancy. Young people aged 0-19 years had the lowest rates of receiving a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 (<4 cases per 10 000 population), and adults aged 70-79 and 40-49 had the highest rates of hospitalization per 100 000 population among people who received a positive test result (16 and 11, respectively).

Conclusions: We found disparities by race/ethnicity and age in access to testing and in receiving a positive test result among outpatients tested for SARS-CoV-2. Further research and public health outreach on addressing racial/ethnic and age disparities will be needed to effectively combat the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the United States.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0033354920988612DOI Listing
May 2021

Social dynamics of a population-level dashboard for antimicrobial stewardship: A qualitative analysis.

Am J Infect Control 2021 Jul 27;49(7):862-867. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Center for Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA; VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC; Department of Medicine, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA.

Objective: To evaluate antimicrobial stewards' experiences of using a dashboard display integrating local and national antibiotic use data implemented in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This paper reports early formative evaluation.

Design: Qualitative interviewing.

Setting: Eight VA hospitals participated with established antimicrobial stewardship (AS) programs participated in the pilot.

Participants: Six infectious disease physicians and eight clinical pharmacists agreed to be interviewed (n = 14).

Methods: A 3-part qualitative interview script was used involving a description of local stewardship activities, a Critical Incident description of dashboard use, and general questions regarding attitudes towards the tool. An inductive open coding approach was used for analysis.

Results: We found 4 themes showing the complexities of using stewardship tools: (1) Data validity is socially negotiated; (2) Performance feedback motivates and persuades social goals when situated in an empirical distribution; (3) Shared problem awareness is aided by authoritative data; and (4) The AS dashboard encourages connections with local quality improvement culture.

Conclusions: Social dimensions of AS tool use emerged as distinct from, and equally important as decision support provided by the dashboard. Successful stewardship tools should be designed to support both the social and cognitive needs of users.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2021.01.015DOI Listing
July 2021

Simulated Adoption of 2019 Community-Acquired Pneumonia Guidelines Across 114 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers: Estimated Impact on Culturing and Antibiotic Selection in Hospitalized Patients.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S59-S67

Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center of Innovation, Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: The 2019 American Thoracic Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) revised recommendations for culturing and empiric broad-spectrum antibiotics. We simulated guideline adoption in Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatients.

Methods: For all VA acute hospitalizations for CAP from 2006-2016 nationwide, we compared observed with guideline-expected proportions of hospitalizations with initial blood and respiratory cultures obtained, empiric antibiotic therapy with activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (anti-MRSA) or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (antipseudomonal), empiric "overcoverage" (receipt of anti-MRSA/antipseudomonal therapy without eventual detection of MRSA/P. aeruginosa on culture), and empiric "undercoverage" (lack of anti-MRSA/antipseudomonal therapy with eventual detection on culture).

Results: Of 115 036 CAP hospitalizations over 11 years, 17 877 (16%) were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Guideline adoption would slightly increase respiratory culture (30% to 36%) and decrease blood culture proportions (93% to 36%) in hospital wards and increase both respiratory (40% to 100%) and blood (95% to 100%) cultures in ICUs. Adoption would decrease empiric selection of anti-MRSA (ward: 27% to 1%; ICU: 61% to 8%) and antipseudomonal (ward: 25% to 1%; ICU: 54% to 9%) therapies. This would correspond to greatly decreased MRSA overcoverage (ward: 27% to 1%; ICU: 56% to 8%), slightly increased MRSA undercoverage (ward: 0.6% to 1.3%; ICU: 0.5% to 3.3%), with similar findings for P. aeruginosa. For all comparisons, P < .001.

Conclusions: Adoption of the 2019 CAP guidelines in this population would substantially change culturing and empiric antibiotic selection practices, with a decrease in overcoverage and slight increase in undercoverage for MRSA and P. aeruginosa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1604DOI Listing
January 2021

Matching Methods to Problems: Using Data Science and Transmission Modeling to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S74-S76

Salt Lake Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing worldwide crisis, declared by the World Health Organization as "one of the principal threats to global public health today." The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance is a multifaceted problem that spans all aspects of healthcare, and research efforts to advance the field must likewise employ investigators with a diverse set of expertise and a variety of approaches and study designs who recognize and address the unique challenges of infectious-disease and antimicrobial-resistance research. An understanding of transmission dynamics and externalities, both positive and negative, is critical to any assessment of the impact of an intervention or policy related to infectious disease, infection prevention, or antimicrobial stewardship, in order to create a more comprehensive and accurate estimate of the costs and outcomes associated with an intervention. These types of advanced studies are necessary if we are to significantly alter the course of this crisis and improve the outlook for our future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1691DOI Listing
January 2021

Effectiveness of Contact Precautions to Prevent Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci in Intensive Care Units.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S42-S49

Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytical Sciences Center of Innovation, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: Contact precautions for endemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are under increasing scrutiny, in part due to limited clinical trial evidence.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from the Strategies to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria in Intensive Care Units (STAR*ICU) trial to model the use of contact precautions in individual intensive care units (ICUs). Data included admission and discharge times and surveillance test results. We used a transmission model to estimate key epidemiological parameters, including the effect of contact precautions on transmission. Finally, we performed multivariate meta-regression to identify ICU-level factors associated with contact precaution effects.

Results: We found that 21% of admissions (n = 2194) were placed on contact precautions, with most for MRSA and VRE. We found little evidence that contact precautions reduced MRSA transmission. The estimated change in transmission attributed to contact precautions was -16% (95% credible interval, -38% to 15%). VRE transmission was higher than MRSA transmission due to contact precautions, but not significantly. In our meta-regression, we did not identify associations between ICU-level factors and estimated contact precaution effects. Importation and transmission were higher for VRE than for MRSA, but clearance rates were lower for VRE than for MRSA.

Conclusions: We found little evidence that contact precautions implemented during the STAR*ICU trial reduced transmission of MRSA or VRE. We did find important differences in the transmission dynamics between MRSA and VRE. Differences in organism and healthcare setting may impact the efficacy of contact precautions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844588PMC
January 2021

Environmental Contamination of Contact Precaution and Non-Contact Precaution Patient Rooms in Six Acute Care Facilities.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S8-S16

Division of Epidemiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: Environmental contamination is an important source of hospital multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission. Factors such as patient MDRO contact precautions (CP) status, patient proximity to surfaces, and unit type likely influence MDRO contamination and bacterial bioburden levels on patient room surfaces. Identifying factors associated with environmental contamination in patient rooms and on shared unit surfaces could help identify important environmental MDRO transmission routes.

Methods: Surfaces were sampled from MDRO CP and non-CP rooms, nursing stations, and mobile equipment in acute care, intensive care, and transplant units within 6 acute care hospitals using a convenience sampling approach blinded to cleaning events. Precaution rooms had patients with clinical or surveillance tests positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or Acinetobacter within the previous 6 months, or Clostridioides difficile toxin within the past 30 days. Rooms not meeting this definition were considered non-CP rooms. Samples were cultured for the above MDROs and total bioburden.

Results: Overall, an estimated 13% of rooms were contaminated with at least 1 MDRO. MDROs were detected more frequently in CP rooms (32% of 209 room-sample events) than non-CP rooms (12% of 234 room-sample events). Surface bioburden did not differ significantly between CP and non-CP rooms or MDRO-positive and MDRO-negative rooms.

Conclusions: CP room surfaces are contaminated more frequently than non-CP room surfaces; however, contamination of non-CP room surfaces is not uncommon and may be an important reservoir for ongoing MDRO transmission. MDRO contamination of non-CP rooms may indicate asymptomatic patient MDRO carriage, inadequate terminal cleaning, or cross-contamination of room surfaces via healthcare personnel hands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1602DOI Listing
January 2021

Expanding an Economic Evaluation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative to Include Prevention of Infections From Other Pathogens.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S50-S58

Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: In October 2007, Veterans Affairs (VA) launched a nationwide effort to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission called the National MRSA Prevention Initiative. Although the initiative focused on MRSA, recent evidence suggests that it also led to a significant decrease in hospital-onset (HO) gram-negative rod (GNR) bacteremia, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), and Clostridioides difficile infections. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and the budget impact of the initiative taking into account MRSA, GNR, VRE, and C. difficile infections.

Methods: We developed an economic model using published data on the rate of MRSA hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and HO-GNR bacteremia in the VA from October 2007 to September 2015, estimates of the attributable cost and mortality of these infections, and the costs associated with the intervention obtained through a microcosting approach. We explored several different assumptions for the rate of infections that would have occurred if the initiative had not been implemented. Effectiveness was measured in life-years (LYs) gained.

Results: We found that during fiscal years 2008-2015, the initiative resulted in an estimated 4761-9236 fewer MRSA HAIs, 1447-2159 fewer HO-GNR bacteremia, 3083-3602 fewer C. difficile infections, and 2075-5393 fewer VRE infections. The initiative itself was estimated to cost $561 million over this 8-year period, whereas the cost savings from prevented MRSA HAIs ranged from $165 to $315 million and from prevented HO-GNR bacteremia, CRE and C. difficile infections ranged from $174 to $200 million. The incremental cost-effectiveness of the initiative ranged from $12 146 to $38 673/LY when just including MRSA HAIs and from $1354 to $4369/LY when including the additional pathogens. The overall impact on the VA's budget ranged from $67 to$195 million.

Conclusions: An MRSA surveillance and prevention strategy in VA may have prevented a substantial number of infections from MRSA and other organisms. The net increase in cost from implementing this strategy was quite small when considering infections from all types of organisms. Including spillover effects of organism-specific prevention efforts onto other organisms can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of the costs and benefits of these interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1591DOI Listing
January 2021

Economic Evaluations of New Antibiotics: The High Potential Value of Reducing Healthcare Transmission Through Decolonization.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S34-S41

Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: Antibiotics designed to decolonize carriers of drug-resistant organisms could offer substantial population health benefits, particularly if they can help avert outbreaks by interrupting person-to-person transmission chains. However, cost effectiveness of an antibiotic is typically evaluated only according to its benefits to recipients, which can be difficult to demonstrate for carriers of an organism that may not pose an immediate health threat to the carrier.

Methods: We developed a mathematical transmission model to quantify the effects of 2 hypothetical antibiotics targeting carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) among long-term acute care hospital inpatients: one assumed to decrease the death rate of patients with CRE bloodstream infections (BSIs) and the other assumed to decolonize CRE carriers after clinical detection. We quantified the effect of each antibiotic on the number of BSIs and deaths among patients receiving the drug (direct effect) and among all patients (direct and indirect effect) compared to usual care. We applied these results to a cost-effectiveness analysis with effectiveness outcome of life-years gained and assumed costs for antibiotic doses and for CRE BSI.

Results: The decolonizing antibiotic, once indirect effects were included, produced increased relative effectiveness and decreased relative costs compared to both usual care and the BSI treatment antibiotic. In fact, in most scenarios, the decolonizing drug was the dominant treatment strategy (ie, less costly and more effective).

Conclusions: Antibiotics that decolonize carriers of drug-resistant organisms can be highly cost-effective when considering indirect benefits within populations vulnerable to outbreaks. Public health could benefit from finding ways to incentivize development of decolonizing antibiotics in the US, where drugs with unclear direct benefits to recipients would pose difficulties in achieving FDA approval and financial benefit to the developer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1590DOI Listing
January 2021

Transmission Dynamics of Clostridioides difficile in 2 High-Acuity Hospital Units.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S1-S7

Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center of Innovation, Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: The key epidemiological drivers of Clostridioides difficile transmission are not well understood. We estimated epidemiological parameters to characterize variation in C. difficile transmission, while accounting for the imperfect nature of surveillance tests.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of C. difficile surveillance tests for patients admitted to a bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit or a solid tumor unit (STU) in a 565-bed tertiary hospital. We constructed a transmission model for estimating key parameters, including admission prevalence, transmission rate, and duration of colonization to understand the potential variation in C. difficile dynamics between these 2 units.

Results: A combined 2425 patients had 5491 admissions into 1 of the 2 units. A total of 3559 surveillance tests were collected from 1394 patients, with 11% of the surveillance tests being positive for C. difficile. We estimate that the transmission rate in the BMT unit was nearly 3-fold higher at 0.29 acquisitions per percentage colonized per 1000 days, compared to our estimate in the STU (0.10). Our model suggests that 20% of individuals admitted into either the STU or BMT unit were colonized with C. difficile at the time of admission. In contrast, the percentage of surveillance tests that were positive within 1 day of admission to either unit for C. difficile was 13.4%, with 15.4% in the STU and 11.6% in the BMT unit.

Conclusions: Although prevalence was similar between the units, there were important differences in the rates of transmission and clearance. Influential factors may include antimicrobial exposure or other patient-care factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1580DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844587PMC
January 2021

National Estimates of Healthcare Costs Associated With Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Infections Among Hospitalized Patients in the United States.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(Suppl 1):S17-S26

Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: Treating patients with infections due to multidrug-resistant pathogens often requires substantial healthcare resources. The purpose of this study was to report estimates of the healthcare costs associated with infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria in the United States (US).

Methods: We performed retrospective cohort studies of patients admitted for inpatient stays in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system between January 2007 and October 2015. We performed multivariable generalized linear models to estimate the attributable cost by comparing outcomes in patients with and without positive cultures for multidrug-resistant bacteria. Finally, we multiplied these pathogen-specific, per-infection attributable cost estimates by national counts of infections due to each pathogen from patients hospitalized in a cohort of 722 US hospitals from 2017 to generate estimates of the population-level healthcare costs in the US attributable to these infections.

Results: Our analysis cohort consisted of 16 676 patients with community-onset infections and 172 712 matched controls and 8246 patients with hospital-onset infections and 66 939 matched controls. The highest cost was seen in hospital-onset invasive infections, with attributable costs (95% confidence intervals) ranging from $30 998 ($25 272-$36 724) for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to $74 306 ($20 377-$128 235) for carbapenem-resistant (CR) Acinetobacter. The highest attributable costs for community-onset invasive infections were seen in CR Acinetobacter ($62 396; $20 370-$104 422). Treatment of these infections cost an estimated $4.6 billion ($4.1 billion-$5.1 billion) in 2017 in the US for community- and hospital-onset infections combined.

Conclusions: We found that antimicrobial-resistant infections led to substantial healthcare costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1581DOI Listing
January 2021

Identification of patients at risk of Clostridioides difficile infection for enrollment in vaccine clinical trials.

Vaccine 2021 01 14;39(3):536-544. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, 500 Foothill Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84148, United States; Division of Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 N 1900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, United States.

Background: Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is an important cause of diarrheal disease associated with increasing morbidity and mortality. Efforts to develop a preventive vaccine are ongoing. The goal of this study was to develop an algorithm to identify patients at high risk of CDI for enrollment in a vaccine efficacy trial.

Methods: We conducted a 2-stage retrospective study of patients aged ≥ 50 within the US Department of Veterans Affairs Health system between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013. Included patients had at least 1 visit in each of the 2 years prior to the study, with no CDI in the past year. We used multivariable logistic regression with elastic net regularization to identify predictors of CDI in months 2-12 (i.e., days 31 - 365) to allow time for antibodies to develop. Performance was measured using the positive predictive value (PPV) and the area under the curve (AUC).

Results: Elements of the predictive algorithm included age, baseline comorbidity score, acute renal failure, recent infections or high-risk antibiotic use, hemodialysis in the last month, race, and measures of recent healthcare utilization. The final algorithm resulted in an AUC of 0.69 and a PPV of 3.4%.

Conclusions: We developed a predictive algorithm to identify a patient population with increased risk of CDI over the next 2-12 months. Our algorithm can be used prospectively with clinical and administrative data to facilitate the feasibility of conducting efficacy studies in a timely manner in an appropriate population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.12.016DOI Listing
January 2021

Changes in the accuracy of administrative data for the detection of surgical site infections.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020 Dec 17:1-3. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Office of Patient Experience, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah.

We performed a retrospective analysis of the changes in accuracy of International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-CM) diagnosis codes for colectomy and hysterectomy surgical site infection surveillance. After the transition from ICD-CM ninth edition to tenth edition codes, there was no significant change in the accuracy of these codes for SSI surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.1346DOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of Implementation of the Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship within Veterans Health Administration Emergency Department and Primary Care Clinics on Antibiotic Prescribing and Patient Outcomes.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Dec 8. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System, Salt Lake City, UT.

Background: The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework to improve antibiotic use, but evidence supporting safety are limited. We report the impact of Core Elements implementation within Veterans Health Administration sites.

Methods: A quasi-experimental controlled study assessed the effects of an intervention targeting antibiotic prescription for uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). Outcomes included per-visit antibiotic prescribing, treatment appropriateness, potential benefits and complications of reduced antibiotic treatment, and change in ARI diagnoses over a 3-year pre-implementation and 1-year post implementation period. Logistic regression adjusted for covariates [OR (95% CI)] and a difference-in-differences analysis compared outcomes between intervention and control sites.

Results: From 2014-2019, there were 16,712 and 51,275 patient-visits in 10 intervention and 40 control sites, respectively. Antibiotic prescribing rates pre-post implementation in intervention sites were 59.7% and 41.5%, respectively; in control sites they were 73.5% and 67.2%, respectively [difference-in-differences p<0.001]. The intervention site pre-post implementation odds ratio to receive appropriate therapy increased [1.67 (1.31, 2.14)] which remained unchanged within control sites [1.04 (0.91, 1.19)]. There was no difference in ARI-related return visits post-implementation [(-1.3% vs. -2.0%; difference-in-differences p=0.76] but all-cause hospitalization was lower within intervention sites [(-0.5% vs. -0.2%); difference-in-differences p=0.02]. The odds ratio to diagnose upper respiratory tract infection not otherwise specified compared to other non-ARI diagnosis increased post-implementation for intervention [1.27(1.21,1.34)] but not control [0.97(0.94,1.01)] sites.

Conclusions: Implementation of the Core Elements was associated with reduced antibiotic prescribing for uncomplicated ARIs and a reduction in hospitalizations. ARI diagnostic coding changes were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1831DOI Listing
December 2020

Portable Automated Surveillance of Surgical Site Infections Using Natural Language Processing: Development and Validation.

Ann Surg 2020 10;272(4):629-636

Department of Surgery University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objectives: We present the development and validation of a portable NLP approach for automated surveillance of SSIs.

Summary Of Background Data: The surveillance of SSIs is labor-intensive limiting the generalizability and scalability of surgical quality surveillance programs.

Methods: We abstracted patient clinical text notes after surgical procedures from 2 independent healthcare systems using different electronic healthcare records. An SSI detected as part of the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was used as the reference standard. We developed a rules-based NLP system (Easy Clinical Information Extractor [CIE]-SSI) for operative event-level detection of SSIs using an training cohort (4574 operative events) from 1 healthcare system and then conducted internal validation on a blind cohort from the same healthcare system (1850 operative events) and external validation on a blind cohort from the second healthcare system (15,360 operative events). EasyCIE-SSI performance was measured using sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver-operating-curve (AUC).

Results: The prevalence of SSI was 4% and 5% in the internal and external validation corpora. In internal validation, EasyCIE-SSI had a sensitivity, specificity, AUC of 94%, 88%, 0.912 for the detection of SSI, respectively. In external validation, EasyCIE-SSI had sensitivity, specificity, AUC of 79%, 92%, 0.852 for the detection of SSI, respectively. The sensitivity of EasyCIE-SSI decreased in clean, skin/subcutaneous, and outpatient procedures in the external validation compared to internal validation.

Conclusion: Automated surveillance of SSIs can be achieved using NLP of clinical notes with high sensitivity and specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004133DOI Listing
October 2020

Perspectives of Physician and Pharmacist Stewards on Successful Antibiotic Stewardship Program Implementation: A Qualitative Study.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2020 Jul 15;7(7):ofaa229. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) are required at every hospital regardless of size. We conducted a qualitative study across different hospital settings to examine perspectives of physician and pharmacist stewards about the dynamics within their team and contextual factors that facilitate the success of their programs.

Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted in March-November 2018 with 46 ASP stewards, 30 pharmacists, and 16 physicians, from 39 hospitals within 2 large hospital systems.

Results: We identified 5 major themes: antibiotic stewards were enthusiastic about their role, committed to the goals of stewardship for their patients and as a public-health imperative, and energized by successful interventions; responsibilities of pharmacist and physician stewards are markedly different, and pharmacy stewards performed the majority of the day-to-day stewardship work; collaborative teamwork is important to improving care, the pharmacists and physicians supported each other, and pharmacists believed that having a strong physician leader was essential; provider engagement strategies are a critical component of stewardship, and recommendations must be communicated in a collegial manner that did not judge the provider competence, preferably through face-to-face interactions; and hospital leadership support for ASP goals and for protected time for ASP activities is critical for success.

Conclusions: The physician-pharmacist team is essential for ASPs; most have pharmacists leading and performing day-to-day activities with physician support. Collaborative, persuasive approaches for ASP interventions were the norm. Stewards were careful not to criticize or judge inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Further research should examine whether this persuasive approach undercuts provider appreciation of stewardship as a public health mandate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofaa229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367692PMC
July 2020

Modeling the potential impact of administering vaccines against Clostridioides difficile infection to individuals in healthcare facilities.

Vaccine 2020 08 21;38(37):5927-5932. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Pfizer, Inc., USA.

Background: A vaccine against Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is in development. While the vaccine has potential to both directly protect those vaccinated and mitigate transmission by reducing environmental contamination, the impact of the vaccine on C. difficile colonization remains unclear. Consequently, the transmission-reduction effect of the vaccine depends on the contribution of symptomatic CDI to overall transmission of C. difficile.

Methods: We designed a simulation model of CDI among patients in a network of 10 hospitals and nursing homes and calibrated the model using estimates of transmissibility from whole genome sequencing studies that estimated the fraction of CDI attributable to transmission from other CDI patients. We assumed the vaccine reduced the rate of progression to CDI among carriers by 25-95% after completion of a 3-dose vaccine course administered to randomly chosen patients at facility discharge. We simulated the administration of this vaccination campaign and tallied effects over 5 years.

Results: We estimated 30 times higher infectivity of CDI patients compared to other carriers. Simulations of the vaccination campaign produced an average reduction of 3-16 CDI cases per 1000 vaccinated patients, with 2-11 of those cases prevented among those vaccinated and 1-5 prevented among unvaccinated patients.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate potential for a vaccine against CDI to reduce transmissions in healthcare facilities, even with no direct effect on carriage susceptibility. The vaccine's population impact will increase if received by individuals at risk for CDI onset in high-transmission settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.06.081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898464PMC
August 2020

Shedding of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli by colonized patients during procedures and patient care activities.

Am J Infect Control 2020 11 6;48(11):1336-1340. Epub 2020 Jun 6.

Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH. Electronic address:

Background: Medical procedures and patient care activities may facilitate environmental shedding of health care-associated pathogens.

Methods: We conducted a cohort study of hospitalized patients in contact precautions for carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing gram-negative bacilli (N = 38) or carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacilli (CR-GNB) (N = 22) to determine the frequency of environmental shedding during procedures and care activities. Perirectal, wound, and skin were cultured for ESBL-producing and CR-GNB. High-touch surfaces and portable equipment were disinfected before and cultured after procedures; control cultures were collected in the absence of procedures.

Results: Of 60 patients enrolled, 34 (57%) had positive perirectal and/or skin or wound cultures. For these 34 patients, 15 (44%) shed their colonizing organism to surfaces during 1 or more procedures. Patients with shedding had significantly higher concentrations of the pathogens recovered from perirectal swabs than those with no shedding (mean, 3.5 vs 2.2 log colony-forming units per swab; P < .01). Environmental shedding occurred more frequently during procedures and care activities than in the absence of a procedure (21 of 117, 18% vs 1 of 61, 2%; P < .01), and 6 of 56 (10%) portable devices used for procedures became contaminated.

Conclusions: Environmental shedding of antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacilli occurs frequently during medical procedures and patient care activities. Decontamination of surfaces and equipment and approaches that reduce the burden of carriage could reduce the risk for dissemination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2020.06.004DOI Listing
November 2020

Evaluation of clinicians' knowledge, attitudes, and planned behaviors related to an intervention to improve acute respiratory infection management.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020 06;41(6):672-679

Informatics, Decision Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center of Innovation, VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Background: Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are commonly diagnosed and major drivers of antibiotic prescribing. Clinician-focused interventions can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. We elicited clinician feedback to design sustainable interventions to improve ARI management by understanding the mental framework of clinicians surrounding antibiotic prescribing within Veterans' Health Administration clinics.

Methods: We conducted one-on-one interviews with clinicians (n = 20) from clinics targeted for intervention at 5 facilities. The theory of planned behavior guided interview questions. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. An iterative coding approach identified 6 themes.

Results: Emergent themes: (1) barriers to appropriate prescribing are multifactorial and include challenges of behavior change; (2) antibiotic prescribing decisions are perceived as autonomous yet, diagnostic uncertainty and perceptions of patient demand can make prescribing decisions difficult; (3) clinicians perceive variation in peer prescribing practices and influences; (4) clinician-focused interventions are valuable if delivered with sensitivity; (5) communication strategies for educating patients are preferred to a shared decisions process; and (6) team standardization of practice and communication are key to facilitate appropriate prescribing. Clinicians perceived audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, academic detailing, and enhanced patient communication strategies as viable approaches to improving appropriate prescribing.

Conclusion: Implementation strategies that enable clinicians to overcome diagnostic uncertainty, perceived patient demand, and improve patient education are desired. Implementation strategies were welcomed, and some were more readily accepted (eg, audit feedback) than others (eg, shared decision making). Implementation strategies should address clinicians' perceptions of antibiotic prescribing practices and should enhance their patient communication skills.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.42DOI Listing
June 2020

Empirical Anti-MRSA vs Standard Antibiotic Therapy and Risk of 30-Day Mortality in Patients Hospitalized for Pneumonia.

JAMA Intern Med 2020 04;180(4):552-560

University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Importance: Use of empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics for pneumonia has increased owing to concern for resistant organisms, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The association of empirical anti-MRSA therapy with outcomes among patients with pneumonia is unknown, even for high-risk patients.

Objective: To compare 30-day mortality among patients hospitalized for pneumonia receiving empirical anti-MRSA therapy vs standard empirical antibiotic regimens.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective multicenter cohort study was conducted of all hospitalizations in which patients received either anti-MRSA or standard therapy for community-onset pneumonia in the Veterans Health Administration health care system from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2013. Subgroups of patients analyzed were those with initial intensive care unit admission, MRSA risk factors, positive results of a MRSA surveillance test, and positive results of a MRSA admission culture. Primary analysis was an inverse probability of treatment-weighted propensity score analysis using generalized estimating equation regression; secondary analyses included an instrumental variable analysis. Statistical analysis was conducted from June 14 to November 20, 2019.

Exposures: Empirical anti-MRSA therapy plus standard pneumonia therapy vs standard therapy alone within the first day of hospitalization.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Risk of 30-day all-cause mortality after adjustment for patient comorbidities, vital signs, and laboratory results. Secondary outcomes included the development of kidney injury and secondary infections with Clostridioides difficile, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species, or gram-negative bacilli.

Results: Among 88 605 hospitalized patients (86 851 men; median age, 70 years [interquartile range, 62-81 years]), empirical anti-MRSA therapy was administered to 33 632 (38%); 8929 patients (10%) died within 30 days. Compared with standard therapy alone, in weighted propensity score analysis, empirical anti-MRSA therapy plus standard therapy was significantly associated with an increased adjusted risk of death (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.4 [95% CI, 1.3-1.5]), kidney injury (aRR, 1.4 [95% CI, 1.3-1.5]), and secondary C difficile infections (aRR, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.3-1.9]), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp infections (aRR, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.0-2.3]), and secondary gram-negative rod infections (aRR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.2-1.8]). Similar associations between anti-MRSA therapy use and 30-day mortality were found by instrumental variable analysis (aRR, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.4-1.9]) and among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (aRR, 1.3 [95% CI, 1.2-1.5]), those with a high risk for MRSA (aRR, 1.2 [95% CI, 1.1-1.4]), and those with MRSA detected on surveillance testing (aRR, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.3-1.9]). No significant favorable association was found between empirical anti-MRSA therapy and death among patients with MRSA detected on culture (aRR, 1.1 [95% CI, 0.8-1.4]).

Conclusions And Relevance: This study suggests that empirical anti-MRSA therapy was not associated with reduced mortality for any group of patients hospitalized for pneumonia. These results contribute to a growing body of evidence that questions the value of empirical use of anti-MRSA therapy using existing risk approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.7495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042818PMC
April 2020

Epidemiology, Disposition, and Treatment of Ambulatory Veterans With Skin and Soft Tissue Infections.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 02;72(4):675-681

Informatics, Decision-Enhancement and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center of Innovation, Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Background: Most skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are managed in the outpatient setting, but data are lacking on treatment patterns outside the emergency department (ED). Available data suggest that there is poor adherence to SSTI treatment guidelines.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of Veterans diagnosed with SSTIs in the ED or outpatient clinics from 1 January 2005 through 30 June 2018. The incidence of SSTIs over time was modeled using Poisson regression using robust standard errors. Antibiotic selection and incision and drainage (I&D) were described and compared between ambulatory settings. Anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) antibiotic use was compared to SSTI treatment guidelines.

Results: There were 1 740 992 incident SSTIs in 1 156 725 patients during the study period. The incidence of SSTIs significantly decreased from 4.58 per 1000 patient-years in 2005 to 3.27 per 1000 patient-years in 2018 (P < .001). There were lower rates of β-lactam prescribing (32.5% vs 51.7%) in the ED compared to primary care (PC), and higher rates of anti-MRSA therapy (51.4% vs 35.1%) in the ED compared to PC. The I&D rate in the ED was 8.1% compared to 2.6% in PC. Antibiotic regimens without MRSA activity were prescribed in 24.9% of purulent SSTIs. Anti-MRSA antibiotics were prescribed in 40.1% of nonpurulent SSTIs.

Conclusions: We found a decrease in the incidence of SSTIs in the outpatient setting over time. Treatment of SSTIs varied depending on the presenting ambulatory location. There is poor adherence to guidelines in regard to use of anti-MRSA therapies. Further study is needed to understand the impact of guideline nonadherence on patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa133DOI Listing
February 2021

Validation of the SHEA/IDSA severity criteria to predict poor outcomes among inpatients and outpatients with infection.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2020 05 30;41(5):510-516. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

IDEAS Center of Innovation, Veterans' Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Objective: To determine whether the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) severity criteria adequately predicts poor outcomes.

Design: Retrospective validation study.

Setting And Participants: Patients with CDI in the Veterans’ Affairs Health System from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2016.

Methods: For the 2010 criteria, patients with leukocytosis or a serum creatinine (SCr) value ≥1.5 times the baseline were classified as severe. For the 2018 criteria, patients with leukocytosis or a SCr value ≥1.5 mg/dL were classified as severe. Poor outcomes were defined as hospital or intensive care admission within 7 days of diagnosis, colectomy within 14 days, or 30-day all-cause mortality; they were modeled as a function of the 2010 and 2018 criteria separately using logistic regression.

Results: We analyzed data from 86,112 episodes of CDI. Severity was unclassifiable in a large proportion of episodes diagnosed in subacute care (2010, 58.8%; 2018, 49.2%). Sensitivity ranged from 0.48 for subacute care using 2010 criteria to 0.73 for acute care using 2018 criteria. Areas under the curve were poor and similar (0.60 for subacute care and 0.57 for acute care) for both versions, but negative predictive values were >0.80.

Conclusions: Model performances across care settings and criteria versions were generally poor but had reasonably high negative predictive value. Many patients in the subacute-care setting, an increasing fraction of CDI cases, could not be classified. More work is needed to develop criteria to identify patients at risk of poor outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.8DOI Listing
May 2020

Environmental Contamination with Species in Multiple Hospitals Including a Tertiary Care Hospital with a Outbreak.

Pathog Immun 2019 28;4(2):260-270. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center; Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical; Cleveland, Ohio.

Background: Environmental sources have been implicated as a potential source for exogenous acquisition of species, particularly the emerging multidrug-resistant . However, limited information is available on environmental reservoirs of species in healthcare facilities.

Methods: During a 6-month period, cultures for species were collected from high-touch surfaces in patient rooms and from portable equipment in 6 US acute care hospitals in 4 states. Additional cultures were collected from sink drains and floors in one of the hospitals and from high-touch surfaces, portable equipment, and sink drains in a hospital experiencing an outbreak due to species were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectometry.

Results: species were recovered from patient rooms in 4 of the 6 hospitals. Seven of 147 patient room cultures (4.8%) and 1 of 57 (1.8%) portable equipment cultures were positive, with the most common species being For the hospital where additional sites were sampled, species were recovered from 8 of 22 (36.4%) hospital room floors and 4 of 17 (23.5%) sink drains. In the facility with a outbreak, species were frequently recovered from sink drains (20.7%) and high-touch surfaces (15.4%), but recovery of was uncommon (3.8% of high-touch surfaces, 3.4% of sink drains, and 0% of portable equipment) and only present in rooms that currently or recently housed a patient with .

Conclusion: species often contaminate surfaces in hospitals and may be particularly common on floors and in sink drains. However, contamination was uncommon in a facility experiencing an outbreak, suggesting that current cleaning and disinfection practices can be effective in minimizing environmental contamination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20411/pai.v4i2.291DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827507PMC
October 2019

Decreases in Antimicrobial Use Associated With Multihospital Implementation of Electronic Antimicrobial Stewardship Tools.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 08;71(5):1168-1176

Center for Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Background: Antimicrobial stewards may benefit from comparative data to inform interventions that promote optimal inpatient antimicrobial use.

Methods: Antimicrobial stewards from 8 geographically dispersed Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatient facilities participated in the development of antimicrobial use visualization tools that allowed for comparison to facilities of similar complexity. The visualization tools consisted of an interactive web-based antimicrobial dashboard and, later, a standardized antimicrobial usage report updated at user-selected intervals. Stewards participated in monthly learning collaboratives. The percent change in average monthly antimicrobial use (all antimicrobial agents, anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [anti-MRSA] agents, and antipseudomonal agents) was analyzed using a pre-post (January 2014-January 2016 vs July 2016-January 2018) design with segmented regression and external comparison with uninvolved control facilities (n = 118).

Results: Intervention sites demonstrated a 2.1% decrease (95% confidence interval [CI], -5.7% to 1.6%) in total antimicrobial use pre-post intervention vs a 2.5% increase (95% CI, 0.8% to 4.1%) in nonintervention sites (absolute difference, 4.6%; P = .025). Anti-MRSA antimicrobial use decreased 11.3% (95% CI, -16.0% to -6.3%) at intervention sites vs a 6.6% decrease (95% CI, -9.1% to -3.9%) at nonintervention sites (absolute difference, 4.7%; P = .092). Antipseudomonal antimicrobial use decreased 3.4% (95% CI, -8.2% to 1.7%) at intervention sites vs a 3.6% increase (95% CI, 0.8% to 6.5%) at nonintervention sites (absolute difference, 7.0%; P = .018).

Conclusions: Comparative data visualization tool use by stewards at 8 VA facilities was associated with significant reductions in overall antimicrobial and antipseudomonal use relative to uninvolved facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768671PMC
August 2020

Antibiotic Prescribing Variability in a Large Urgent Care Network: A New Target for Outpatient Stewardship.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 04;70(8):1781-1787

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Improving antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings is a public health priority. In the United States, urgent care (UC) encounters are increasing and have high rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Our objective was to characterize antibiotic prescribing practices during UC encounters, with a focus on respiratory tract conditions. This was a retrospective cohort study of UC encounters in the Intermountain Healthcare network. Among 1.16 million UC encounters, antibiotics were prescribed during 34% of UC encounters and respiratory conditions accounted for 61% of all antibiotics prescribed. Of respiratory encounters, 50% resulted in antibiotic prescriptions, yet the variability at the level of the provider ranged from 3% to 94%. Similar variability between providers was observed for respiratory conditions where antibiotics were not indicated and in first-line antibiotic selection for sinusitis, otitis media, and pharyngitis. These findings support the importance of developing antibiotic stewardship interventions specifically targeting UC settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz910DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768670PMC
April 2020

Model-based Assessment of the Effect of Contact Precautions Applied to Surveillance-detected Carriers of Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Long-term Acute Care Hospitals.

Clin Infect Dis 2019 09;69(Suppl 3):S206-S213

Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City.

Background: An intervention that successfully reduced colonization and infection with carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in Chicago-area long-term acute-care hospitals included active surveillance and contact precautions. However, the specific effects of contact precautions applied to surveillance-detected carriers on patient-to-patient transmission are unknown, as other, concurrent intervention components or changes in facility patient dynamics also could have affected the observed outcomes.

Methods: Using previously published data from before and after the CPE intervention, we designed a mathematical model with an explicit representation of postintervention surveillance. We estimated preintervention to postintervention changes of 3 parameters: β, the baseline transmission rate excluding contact precaution effects; δb, the rate of a CPE carrier progressing to bacteremia; and δc, the progression rate to nonbacteremia clinical detection.

Results: Assuming that CPE carriers under contact precautions transmit carriage to other patients at half the rate of undetected carriers, the model produced no convincing evidence for a postintervention change in the baseline transmission rate β (+2.1% [95% confidence interval {CI}, -18% to +28%]). The model did find evidence of a postintervention decrease for δb (-41% [95% CI, -60% to -18%]), but not for δc (-7% [95% CI, -28% to +19%]).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that contact precautions for surveillance-detected CPE carriers could potentially explain the observed decrease in colonization by itself, even under conservative assumptions for the effectiveness of those precautions for reducing cross-transmission. Other intervention components such as daily chlorhexidine gluconate bathing of all patients and hand-hygiene education and adherence monitoring may have contributed primarily to reducing rates of colonized patients progressing to bacteremia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz557DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761367PMC
September 2019
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