November has been a busy month for DICON! There are now three new FAQs posted to the FAQ section of My DICON. 

FAQ #41 addresses interpreting testing results of multi-step C. difficile testing, FAQ #42 covers the best isolation practices for patients colonized with C. difficile, and FAQ #43 is a Candida auris update from the DICON faculty. 

Shifting focus toward healthcare-associated bloodstream infections: The need for neonatal intensive care unit–specific NHSN definitions

Our newest faculty member, Dr. Sonali Advani, has been working to shift the focus toward healthcare-associated bloodstreem infections and the need for neonatal intensive care unit-specific NHSN definitions. Her work was published in ICHE this week and the article can be downloaded here

Editorial Commentary in ICHE by DICON Physicians

DICON physicians Drs. Jessica Seidelman, Becky Smith, Christopher Shoff, Art Baker, Sarah Lewis, Deverick Anderson, and Dan Sexton performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data on 7 categories of surgical procedures performed over a 4-year period (July 2013–December 2017) at 3 Duke University Health System (DUHS)–affiliated hospitals. This cohort included adult patients who underwent craniotomy, spinal fusion, laminectomy, hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, and cardiac bypass surgeries. Trained infection preventionists reviewed the cases for SSI using current NHSN definitions. Surveillance for SSIs was primarily culture-based in all 3 hospitals.

Shifting surgical site infection denominators and implications for National Health Safety Network reporting

Several members of the DICON team worked together under the leadership of Dr. Jessica Seidelman, MD, MPH to explore the potential impact of inconsistent methods for calculating SSI denominators when reporting SSI events to the National Health Safety Network. The full report can be viewed here

Surveillance for Spotted Fever Group Rickettsial Infections: Problems, Pitfalls, and Potential Solutions

DICON founder Dr. Dan Sexton provided editorial commentary for The Journal of Infectious Diseases that can be read in full here

Updated DICON Tuberculosis Control Plan

On May 17, 2019 the Centers for Disease Control and the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association published new recommendations on screening, testing, and treatment of tuberculosis in the U.S. The full publication can be found on the CDC website, or downloaded here

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria on personal devices in hospital intensive care units: Molecular approaches to quantifying and describing changes in the bacterial community of personal mobile devices

Bacterial community composition and presence of antibiotic resistance genes (mecA, tetK, and vanA) on personal mobile devices (PMDs) of nurses in intensive care units (ICUs) were evaluated. Antibiotic resistance genes on PMDs decreased at the end of the shift, and a several microbial genera changed.

DICON physician, Dr. Deverick Anderson, worked with the ICU staff at Duke University Medical Center. Recruitment of 32 total volunteers was performed at a surgical ICU (SICU) and a medical ICU (MICU). In total, 31 volunteers completed the study.

All WellStar Health System Hospitals Join DICON Network

The first two WellStar Health System hospitals, WellStar Kennestone Hospital and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, joined the DICON family in September 2017. After a little over a year, in December 2018, three more (WellStar Douglas Hospital, WellStar Paulding Medical Center, and WellStar West Georgia Medical Center) of the WellStar Health System Hospitals joined our family. 

Now, we are proud to announce that the rest of the WellStar Health System hospitals have joined DICON! To see the full list of all eleven WellStar Health System hospitals, head over to the Georgia section of our DICON Members page. 

Hospital epidemiologists' and infection preventionists' opinions regarding hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia as a potential healthcare-associated infection metric

A cross-sectional survey of hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) was performed to ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB), and perspecitives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting the quality of infection prevention and hospital care. DICON physician, Dr. Deverick Anderson, was a contributing author on this project. 

A total of 89 surveys were completed. Among the majority of the respondants, HOB is percieved as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. 

Water as a source for colonization and infection with multidrug-resistant pathogens: Focus on sinks

Water distribution systems have long been known to be reservoirs and occasional sources for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Recently, hospital-building wastewater systems including sinks and drains have received more attention as potential sources of transmission of multidrug-resistant gramnegative bacilli. In this issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, studies by Dr Curtis Donskey’s research group add to our understanding of the importance of sink drains as reservoirs of pathogens and describe potential interventions to reduce contamination of surfaces surrounding sinks. This commentary focuses on the growing body of evidence linking sinks to HAIs and discusses st