Infection prevention and control practices related to Clostridium difficile infection in Canadian acute and long-term care institutions
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BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile is an important pathogen in Canadian health care facilities, and infection prevention and control (IPC) practices are crucial to reducing C difficile infections (CDIs). We performed a cross-sectional study to identify CDI-related IPC practices in Canadian health care facilities. METHODS: A survey assessing facility characteristics, CDI testing strategies, CDI contact precautions, and antimicrobial stewardship programs was sent to Canadian health care facilities in February 2005. RESULTS: Responses were received from 943 (33%) facilities. Acute care facilities were more likely than long-term care (P < .001) and mixed care facilities (P = .03) to submit liquid stools from all patients for CDI testing. Physician orders were required before testing for CDI in 394 long-term care facilities (66%)-significantly higher than the proportions in acute care (41%; P < .001) and mixed care sites (49%; P < .001). A total of 841 sites (93%) had an infection control manual, 639 (76%) of which contained CDI-specific guidelines. Antimicrobial stewardship programs were reported by 40 (29%) acute care facilities; 19 (54%) of these sites reported full enforcement of the program. CONCLUSION: Canadian health care facilities have widely varying C difficile IPC practices. Opportunities exist for facilities to take a more active role in IPC policy development and implementation, as well as antimicrobial stewardship.
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