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Rhode Island Hospital reduces incidence of hospital-associated C. difficile by 70 percent
Date:6/20/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Rhode Island Hospital has reduced the incidence of hospital-associated Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections by 70 percent and reduced annual associated mortality in patients with hospital-associated C. difficile by 64 percent through successive implementation of five rigorous interventions , as reported in the July 2013 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Clostridium difficile is a toxin-producing bacterium that lives in the colon. A major cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., it can cause life-threatening infections that occur most frequently in patients who have received antibiotic therapy. Unlike other bacteria causing healthcare-related infections, C. difficile can be difficult to clear from the environment due to its ability to survive for prolonged periods of time as spores.

"Hospital-acquired infections are a major concern for hospitals across the country and C. difficile is among the most dangerous," says principal investigator Leonard Mermel, D.O., medical director of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital. "The risks to patients are enormous, as is the excess associated hospital cost."

Mermel et al. note that from 2000 to 2009, discharge diagnoses from U.S. hospitals that included C. difficile increased from 139,000 to 336,600 a 242 percent increase. Similarly, the yearly national excess hospital cost associated with hospital-onset C. difficile is estimated to be upward of $1.3 billion.

To measure and reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired C. difficile, Mermel and his colleagues implemented a multi-step process based on a risk assessment: develop and implement a C. difficile infection control plan; monitor additional data sets, including associated mortality and morbidity as measured by C. difficile-related colecto
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Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-444-6421
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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