Activities to stop the spread of Clostridium difficile are on the rise, but they are not yielding large improvements, according to a nationwide survey of infection prevention specialists.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology reported that 70% of infection prevention specialists have adopted additional interventions in their health care facilities to address C. difficile infections since March 2010, but only 42% saw a decline in infection rates, compared to 43% who have not seen a decline.
Also, while infection rates have reached all-time highs, only 21% of respondents have added more infection prevention staff to address the problem.
Survey findings were presented at an APIC conference on March 11. More than 1,000 APIC members completed the survey, which was intended to provide a general overview of trends and reveal areas of more in-depth research.
The survey also showed that 92% of respondents increased the emphasis on environmental cleaning and equipment decontamination practices since March 2010, but 64% 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.
And, antimicrobial stewardship programs are slowly increasing. Sixty percent of respondents have antimicrobial stewardship programs at their facilities, compared with 52% in 2010.
APIC has released a second, expanded edition of its Implementation Guide that offers tools and resources for prevention programs.