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Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital fights C. diff infection

Clostridium difficile is a continuous cause of healthcare-associated infection and poses a serious challenge to providers’ infection prevention and control efforts. In 2017, Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital initiated efforts to reduce the occurrence of C. diff infection and improve patient outcomes.

Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital began by forming an interdisciplinary team to decrease the rate of C. diff. Using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s methodology, the team pursued a multifaceted action plan derived from evidence-based practice and innovation through a series of “Plan-Do-Study-Act” cycles. The action plan included reducing unnecessary C. diff testing, assuring proper handwashing and personal protective equipment compliance by staff and visitors and ensuring compliance with the post-discharge terminal cleaning process. Identifying best practices, providing education and streamlining the multiple processes into one comprehensive program allowed for integration into everyday hospital workflow. Nursing staff engagement was also integral to hardwiring processes.

From 2017 to 2018, the hospital achieved a 63% reduction in hospital-acquired C. diff infections. The median C. diff rate decreased from 7.7 to 2.6 per 1,000 patient days. There was also a 20% reduction in the number of C. diff tests conducted from 2017 to 2018.

For more information, contact Margaret Deyo-Allers, MSN, RN, ANP, vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer, at (845) 568-2665 or mdeyo@slchospital.org.