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Improving the Assessment of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci by Routine Screening

Improving the Assessment of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci by Routine Screening Background. As infection with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) increases in hospitals, knowledge about VRE reservoirs and improved accuracy of epidemiologic measures are needed. Many assessments underestimate incidence by including prevalent carriers in at-risk populations. Routine surveillance cultures can substantially improve prevalence and incidence estimates, and assessing the range of improvement across diverse units is important.Methods. We performed a retrospective cohort study using accurate at-risk populations to evaluate the range of benefit of admission and weekly surveillance cultures in detecting unrecognized VRE in 14 patient-care units.Results. We assessed 165 unit-months. The admission prevalence of VRE was 2.2%–27.2%, with admission surveillance providing 2.2–17-fold increased detection. Medical units were significantly more likely to admit VRE carriers than were surgical units. Monthly incidence was 0.8%–9.7%, with weekly surveillance providing 3.3–15.4-fold increased detection. The common practice of reporting incidence using the total number of patients, rather than patients at risk, underestimated incidence by one-third. Overall, routine surveillance prevented the misclassification of 43.0% (unit range, 0%–85.7%) of “incident” carriers on the basis of clinical cultures alone and increased VRE precaution days by 2.4-fold (unit range, 2.0–2.6-fold).Conclusions. Routine surveillance markedly increases the detection of VRE, despite variability across patient-care units. Correct denominators prevent the substantial underestimation of incidence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Infectious Diseases Oxford University Press

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References (32)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
Subject
Major Articles and Brief Reports
ISSN
0022-1899
eISSN
1537-6613
DOI
10.1086/510624
pmid
17205471
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background. As infection with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) increases in hospitals, knowledge about VRE reservoirs and improved accuracy of epidemiologic measures are needed. Many assessments underestimate incidence by including prevalent carriers in at-risk populations. Routine surveillance cultures can substantially improve prevalence and incidence estimates, and assessing the range of improvement across diverse units is important.Methods. We performed a retrospective cohort study using accurate at-risk populations to evaluate the range of benefit of admission and weekly surveillance cultures in detecting unrecognized VRE in 14 patient-care units.Results. We assessed 165 unit-months. The admission prevalence of VRE was 2.2%–27.2%, with admission surveillance providing 2.2–17-fold increased detection. Medical units were significantly more likely to admit VRE carriers than were surgical units. Monthly incidence was 0.8%–9.7%, with weekly surveillance providing 3.3–15.4-fold increased detection. The common practice of reporting incidence using the total number of patients, rather than patients at risk, underestimated incidence by one-third. Overall, routine surveillance prevented the misclassification of 43.0% (unit range, 0%–85.7%) of “incident” carriers on the basis of clinical cultures alone and increased VRE precaution days by 2.4-fold (unit range, 2.0–2.6-fold).Conclusions. Routine surveillance markedly increases the detection of VRE, despite variability across patient-care units. Correct denominators prevent the substantial underestimation of incidence.

Journal

Journal of Infectious DiseasesOxford University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2007

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