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Clostridioides difficile is the most common pathogen causing healthcare-associated infections. This study highlights the multi-disciplinary efforts to reduce C. difficile infections (CDI) at a large, tertiary care teaching facility. Methods:

A quality improvement study was performed between March 2017 and April 2018, using six Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles that included transmission prevention, diagnostic stewardship, education, and antimicrobial stewardship. Process measures included hand hygiene, isolation precautions, low-level disinfection compliance, number of tests ordered, lab cancelation of tests, and compliance with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) hard stop for patients with laxative use, and negative C.difficile test in the past 7 days. Results:

A total of 2,046 C. difficile tests were ordered during the initiative. Of the 124 patients with a positive C. difficile LabID event, 50% were male with a median age of 65 years (range: 11–92 years). A 53% reduction in C. difficile LabID events (7.5 to 4 events per 10,000 patient-days, P < 0.001), with a pronounced decrease between cycle 4 and 5 (5.4 to 2.9 events per 10,000 patient-days, P < 0.001) was achieved. The largest decrease in C. difficile lab tests ordered was seen after implementation of the EMR hard-stop (cycle 5), with fewer than 0.5 LabID events per 1,000 patient-days for each subsequent month after EMR hard-stop implementation. Frequent reasons for physician phone calls to Infection prevention department was related to chronic use of lactulose in patients with cirrhosis (30%) and unexplained diarrhea (70%). Based on provider feedback, EMR changes were made to remove lactulose from the hard-stop and offer infectious disease consultation upfront. There was 99% compliance with electronic medical record hard stop. There was a nonsignificant increase in lab cancelations due to inappropriate stool specimens over time (1.9% to 3.1% from cycle 1 to 6, P = 0.28) A 55% reduction in hospital-onset CDI surveillance events (from 6.9 to 3.2 per 10,000 patient-days, P < 0.001) was noted. Conclusion:

A multi-disciplinary Quality Improvement initiative is a successful strategy in reducing CDI events, with the largest decrease seen with introduction of EMR hard stops.

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Open Forum Infectious Diseases, v. 6, issue Supplment_2, p. S807-S808