Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a serious cause of infection, morbidity and death. In 2011, 83,000 of the patients who developed C. diff also experienced at least one recurrence, and 29,000 died within 30 days of the diagnosis. Additional adverse consequences for patients include increased length of stay and costs. The C. diff infection is readily transmitted in and across health care settings, as well as in the community. Prevention strategies include careful management of antibiotic therapy, surveillance to identify potential reservoirs of infection, and strict hygiene and cleaning practices.
Reduction in C. diff infections is part of HealthInsight’s commitment to reducing patient harm by 20 percent over the next two years. HealthInsight’s plan for assisting hospitals in reducing C. diff will include technical assistance, self-assessment tools, educational webinars and conferences, and links to evidence-based best practices surrounding antimicrobial stewardship, surveillance, treatment and preventing transmission.