A comparison of infection control program resources, activities, and antibiotic resistant organism rates in Canadian acute care hospitals in 1999 and 2005: pre- and post-severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The Resources for Infection Control in Hospitals (RICH) project assessed infection control programs and rates of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) in Canadian acute care hospitals in 1999. In the meantime, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak and the concern over pandemic influenza have stimulated considerable government and health care institutional efforts to improve infection control systems in Canada.
In 2006, a version of the RICH survey similar to the original RICH instrument was mailed to infection control programs in all Canadian acute care hospitals with 80 or more beds. We used chi(2), analysis of variance, and analysis of covariance analyses to test for differences between the 1999 and 2005 samples for infection control program components and ARO rates.
72.3% of Canadian acute care hospitals completed the RICH survey for 1999 and 60.1% for 2005. Hospital size was controlled for in analyses involving AROs and surveillance and control intensity levels. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates increased from 1999 to 2005 (F = 9.4, P = .003). In 2005, the mean MRSA rate was 5.2 (standard deviation [SD], 6.1) per 1000 admissions, and, in 1999, it was 2.0 (SD, 2.9). Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea rates trended up from 1999 to 2005 (F = 2.9, P = .09). In 2005, the mean Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea rate was 4.7 (SD, 4.3), and, in 1999, it was 3.8 (SD, 4.3). The proportion of hospitals that reported having new nosocomial vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) cases was greater in 2005 than in 1999 (chi(2) = 10.5, P = .001). In 1999, 34.5% (40/116) of hospitals reported having new nosocomial VRE cases, and, in 2005, 61.0% (64/105) reported new cases. Surveillance intensity index scores increased from a mean of 61.7 (SD, 18.5) in 1999 to 68.1 (SD, 15.4) in 2005 (F = 4.1, P = .04). Control intensity index scores trended upward slightly from a mean of 60.8 (SD, 14.6) in 1999 to 64.1 (SD, 12.2) in 2005 (F = 3.2, P = .07). Infection control professionals (ICP) full-time equivalents (FTEs) per 100 beds increased from a mean of 0.5 (SD, 0.2) in 1999 to 0.8 (SD, 0.3) in 2005 (F = 90.8, P
ReprintIn: Can J Infect Control. 2009 Summer;24(2):109-1519697536
Residents in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are at considerable risk for developing infections. This is the first comprehensive examination of infection control programs in Canadian LTCFs in almost 20 years.
A survey designed to assess resident and LTCF characteristics; personnel, laboratory, computer, and reference resources; and surveillance and control activities of infection prevention and control programs was sent in 2005 to all eligible LTCFs across Canada.
One third of LTCFs (34%, 488/1458) responded. Eighty-seven percent of LTCFs had infection control committees. Most LTCFs (91%) had 24-hour care by registered nurses, and 84% had on-site infection control staff. The mean number of full-time equivalent infection control professionals (ICPs) per 250 beds was 0.6 (standard deviation [SD], 1.0). Only 8% of ICPs were certified by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. Only one fifth of LTCFs had physicians or doctoral level professionals providing service to the infection control program. The median surveillance index score was 63 out of a possible 100, and the median control index score was 79 of 100. Influenza vaccinations were received by 93.0% (SD, 11.3) of residents in 2004.
To bring infection control programs in Canadian LTCFs up to expert suggested resource and intensity levels will necessitate considerable investment. More and better trained ICPs are essential to providing effective infection prevention and control programs in LTCFs and protecting vulnerable residents from preventable infections.
There will be little time to prepare when an influenza pandemic strikes; hospitals need to develop and test pandemic influenza plans beforehand.
Acute care hospitals in Ontario were surveyed regarding their pandemic influenza preparedness plans.
The response rate was 78.5%, and 95 of 121 hospitals participated. Three quarters (76.8%, 73 of 95) of hospitals had pandemic influenza plans. Only 16.4% (12 of 73) of hospitals with plans had tested them. Larger (chi(2) = 6.7, P = .01) and urban hospitals (chi(2) = 5.0, P = .03) were more likely to have tested their plans. 70.4% (50 of 71) Of respondents thought the pandemic influenza planning process was not adequately funded. No respondents were "very satisfied" with the completeness of their hospital's pandemic plan, and only 18.3% were "satisfied."
Important challenges were identified in pandemic planning: one quarter of hospitals did not have a plan, few plans were tested, key players were not involved, plans were frequently incomplete, funding was inadequate, and small and rural hospitals were especially disadvantaged. If these problems are not addressed, the result may be increased morbidity and mortality when a virulent influenza pandemic hits.
Antibiotic-resistant pathogen rates are rising in Canada and the United States with significant health and economic costs. The examination of the relationship of surveillance and control activities in hospitals with rates of nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile -associated diarrhea (CDAD), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) may identify strategies for controlling this growing problem.
Surveys were sent to infection control programs in hospitals that participated in an earlier survey of infection control practices in Canadian acute care hospitals.
One hundred twenty of 145 (82.8%) hospitals responded to the survey. The mean MRSA rate was 2.0 (SD 2.9) per 1000 admissions, the mean CDAD rate was 3.8 (SD 4.3), and the mean VRE rate was 0.4 (SD 1.5). Multiple stepwise regression analysis found that hospitals that reported infection rates by specific risk groups ( r = -0.27, P
Nosocomial infections and antibiotic-resistant pathogens cause significant morbidity, mortality, and economic costs. The infection surveillance and control resources and activities in Canadian acute care hospitals had not been assessed in 20 years.
In 2000, surveys were mailed to infection control programs in all Canadian hospitals with more than 80 acute care beds. The survey was modeled after the US Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control instrument, with new items dealing with resistant pathogens and computerization. Surveillance and control indices were calculated.
One hundred seventy-two of 238 (72.3%) hospitals responded. In 42.1% of hospitals, there was fewer than 1 infection control practitioner per 250 beds. Just 60% of infection control programs had physicians or doctoral professionals with infection control training who provided services. The median surveillance index was 65.6/100, and the median control index was 60.5/100. Surgical site infection rates were reported to individual surgeons in only 36.8% of hospitals.
There were deficits in the identified components of effective infection control programs. Greater investment in resources is needed to meet recommended standards and thereby reduce morbidity, mortality, and expense associated with nosocomial infections and antibiotic-resistant pathogens.