Impact of real-time notification ofClostridium difficiletest results and early initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy

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Abstract

Background:

Clostridium difficile is a prominent nosocomial pathogen and is the most common causative organism of health care–associated diarrhea. To our knowledge, no studies have investigated the impact of real-time notification of culture results with rapid antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) intervention in the setting of C difficile infection (CDI). The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of real-time notification of detection of toxigenic C difficile by DNA amplification results in patients with confirmed CDI.

Methods:

This is a single-center, retrospective cohort study at a 433-bed tertiary medical center in central Kentucky. The study consisted of 2 arms: patients treated for CDI prior to implementation of real-time provider notification and patients postimplementation. The primary outcome was time to initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy.

Results:

The median time to initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy decreased from 5.75 hours in the preimplementation cohort to 2.05 hours in the postimplementation cohort (P = .001). ASP intervention also resulted in a shorter time from detection of CDI to order entry of effective antimicrobial therapy in the patient's electronic medical record (3.0 vs 0.6 hours; P = .001).

Conclusions:

The implementation of a real-time notification system to alert a pharmacist-led ASP of toxigenic CDI resulted in statistically significant shorter times to order entry and subsequent initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy and contact precautions.

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