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Preventive Measures Not Enough to Combat Clostridium Difficile Infection

THURSDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although measures have been adopted to combat Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), most facilities have not reported improvement in health care facility-associated CDI rates, according to survey findings published by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

To get an overview of trends at APIC member facilities, 1,087 U.S. APIC members were surveyed from Jan. 14 to 28, 2013, regarding policies and practices put in place to address CDI since March 2010.

The researchers found that only 21 percent of respondents reported having been able to add more infection prevention staff in the previous three years, although CDI rates are at historic highs. Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported using the APIC Implementation Guide on CDI to help identify or lead improvements. Although 70 percent of respondents reported having adopted additional interventions to address CDI since March 2010, less than half (42 percent) reported a decline in the rate of health care facility-associated CDI rates. Of the respondents who had not adopted more aggressive measures to combat CDI, most reported that the best practices were already in place (65 percent) or that CDI was not a high-priority problem for their facility (37 percent). Most respondents (85 percent) had participated in education offerings about CDI, but only 50 percent had initiated patient education programs.

"We are encouraged that many institutions have adopted stronger measures to prevent CDI, but as our survey indicates, more needs to be done to reduce the spread of this infection," Jennie Mayfield, M.P.H., APIC-president elect, said in a statement.

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