Study: Clostridium Difficile Infections Decline 36% in Canadian Hospitals

By on 12:36 PM

A new study indicates that Clostridium difficile infections rates decreased about 36% in Canadian hospitals from 2009–2015.

The results were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

Researchers reviewed data — specifically patient demographic characteristics, severity of infection and outcomes — from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, a network of acute care hospitals. The researchers found that over the period from 2009–2015, more than 20,000 adult patients were admitted with healthcare-associated C. diff and had their infection reported to CNISP.

The analysis revealed that the national C. diff infection rate decreased from 5.9 to 4.3 per 10,000 patient days from 2009–2015. The rate peaked at 6.7 infections per 10,000 patient days in 2011 and reached a nadir of 4.3 infections per 10,000 patient days in 2015 — a 35.8% relative decrease in national infection rate.

As a press release noted, the infection rate decrease may be linked to efforts to improve infection control measures, such as better testing, more judicious use of antibiotics, frequent handwashing and better, more frequent cleaning of facilities. These undertakings began after infection outbreaks 10-15 years ago.

The authors stated, "Infection prevention and control practices, antimicrobial stewardship and environmental cleaning should continue to be strengthened at the local level, as these areas positively affect institutional rates of healthcare-associated C. difficile infection, regardless of circulating strain types."

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.