Do admissions and discharges to long-term care facilities influence hospital burden of Clostridium difficile infection?

R Ricciardi, J Nelson, J L Griffith, T W Concannon
Journal of Hospital Infection 2012, 80 (2): 156-61

BACKGROUND: Substantial geographical clustering of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) outbreaks in hospitals in the USA have previously been demonstrated.

AIM: To test the hypothesis that hospital burden of CDI is associated with admission from and discharge to long-term care facilities (LTCFs).

METHODS: Hospital discharge data from 19 states in the USA were used to identify all patients discharged with a diagnosis of CDI from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2004. For every hospital, the proportion of discharges with a diagnosis of CDI was calculated, and those above the 90th percentile were classified as 'high CDI' hospitals. We tested the association between this measure of hospital burden of CDI and the rates of admission from and discharges to LTCFs. We adjusted for other hospital level characteristics, case-complexity and local population characteristics.

FINDINGS: We identified 38,372,951 discharges during the three-year study period. Of all discharges, 274,311 (0.71%) had a primary or secondary diagnosis of CDI. Hospitals had a mean CDI burden of 7.8 cases per 1000 discharges. High CDI hospitals (N = 610; 10.0%) had a mean CDI burden of 34.8 cases per 1000 discharges. Compared to other hospitals, high CDI hospitals were more likely to have a high proportion of admissions from or discharges to LTCFs. This association persisted after adjustments for other hospital characteristics, case-complexity, and area population characteristics.

CONCLUSION: A high rate of admission from or discharge to LTCFs is associated with an increased hospital burden of CDI.

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