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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

APIC survey: C. diff infections resist prevention efforts, imperil patients

Baltimore: Despite increasing infection prevention efforts, Clostridium difficile remains a persistent threat to patient safety in the nation's hospitals, according to a survey released today by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

The APIC survey found that 70% of infection preventionists have adopted additional interventions in their healthcare facilities to address C. difficile infection (CDI) since March of 2010, but only 42% have seen a decline in their healthcare facility-associated CDI rates during that time period. In a particularly troubling finding, 43% of IPs responding to the APIC survey reported no decline in CDC rates. Released at a tw0-day C. diff conference in Baltimore, the APIC survey also cited staffing woes in infection control departments. While CDI rates have have climbed to all-time highs in recent years, few facilities (21%) have added more IPs to address the problem.

APIC conducted the 2013 CDI Pace of Progress survey in January 2013 to assess activities that have been implemented in U.S. healthcare facilities in the last three years to prevent and control CDI, a healthcare-associated infection that kills 14,000 Americans each year. A total of 1,087 APIC members completed the survey which was intended to provide a general overview of trends and indicate areas where more in-depth research might be beneficial. The findings were presented today at APIC’s Clostridium difficile Educational and Consensus Conference.