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Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare fights C. difficile infection

Clostridium difficile is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections, often resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Despite medical advances, C. diff has grown in prevalence and is becoming increasingly resistant to standard treatments. In 2018, Faxton St. Luke’s of the Mohawk Valley Health System implemented CDIFFerently: A Bundled Approach to Sustained C. diff Infection Prevention, an initiative aimed at lowering their rates of hospital onset C. diff infection.

In 2017, Faxton St. Luke’s introduced new cleaning products, enhanced education and promoted antibiotic stewardship in inpatient and outpatient settings. These strategies were then combined with the CDIFFerently program. Multiple disciplines collaborated to track and trend processes to improve accountability, which significantly reduced C. diff infections. Staff used a define-measure-analyze-improve-control process improvement model to better understand the reasons for the high infection rates and develop a comprehensive reduction plan. The strategy focused on diagnostic stewardship, environmental contamination, transmission prevention and education. The individual CDIFFerently elements were augmented by a marketing campaign to pique interest and sustain engagement.

Outcomes of the program included a 48% reduction in the rate of hospital-onset C. diff infection, greater than 80% compliance with the testing algorithm and use of an ultraviolet light disinfection system was expanded to include 98% of C. diff discharge rooms and 13% of total discharge rooms.

Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare was recognized with HANYS’ 2019 Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety for this successful program. Watch our video for an in-depth look at the Faxton St. Luke’s initiative and its results.

For more information, contact Sarah M. Deming, RN, BSN, CIC, infection preventionist, at (315) 801-4250 or sdeming@mvhealthsystem.org.