Universal Masking is an Effective Strategy to Flatten the SARS-CoV-2 Healthcare Worker Epidemiologic Curve

Dr. Jessie Seidelman lead the DICON physician team to show that universal masking is an effective strategy to flatten the SARS-CoV-2 healthcare worker epidemiologic curve in an arctile published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 

Black Mold Takes Hold and Story Told

DICON and Duke University Hospital physician Dr. Becky Smith has been working with other Duke Infectious Diseases Division faculty and Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery faculty on a case of an invasive Curvularia infection in a patient who developed following bilateral orthotopic lung transplantation despite receiving post-transplant antifungal prophylaxis. This infection presented as mold colonies studding the interior surface of his chest tubes. Despite surgical washout of his bilateral pleural cavities and antifungal treatment with liposomal amphotericin B, micafungin, and isavuconazonium sulfate, the patient died.

Universal Masking in Hospitals in the COVID-19 Era: Is It Time to Consider Shielding?

DICON faculty Drs. Sonali Advani, Becky Smith, Sarah Lewis, Dev Anderson, and Dan Sexton worked together on an open access commentary for Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology regarding universal masking during COVID-19. 

DICON Hospitals with 5-Star CMS Ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings for 2020, giving 407 hospitals a 5-star rating. Four hospitals in the DICON network were awarded the 5-star rating. 

The hospitals are:
  • Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, Raleigh, NC (DICON member since 1999)
  • Duke Regional Hospital, Durham, NC (DICON member since 1998)
  • Rex Hospital, Raleigh, NC (DICON member since 2007)
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota, FL (DICON member since 2016)

Novel and Emerging Sources of Clostridioides Difficile Infection

DICON physicians Dr. Nick Turner, Dr. Becky Smith, and Dr. Sarah Lewis teach us about new sources of CDI, as well as how the epidemiology of C. difficle is changing in PLOS Pathogens. 

The open access article can be found here


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