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Assessment of treatment patterns and patient outcomes before vs after implementation of a severity-based Clostridium difficile infection treatment policy

C G M Jardin, H R Palmer, D N Shah, F Le, N D Beyda, Z Jiang, K W Garey
Journal of Hospital Infection 2013, 85 (1): 28-32
23834988

BACKGROUND: National guidelines recommend oral vancomycin for severe Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) based on results from recent clinical trials demonstrating improved clinical outcomes. However, real-world data to support these clinical trials are scant.

AIM: To compare treatment patterns and patient outcomes of those treated for CDI before and after implementation of a severity-based CDI treatment policy at a tertiary teaching hospital.

METHODS: This study evaluated adult patients with a positive C. difficile toxin before and after implementation of a policy where patients with severe CDI given metronidazole were switched to oral vancomycin unless contra-indicated. Patients were stratified according to disease severity using a modified published severity score. Treatment patterns based on CDI severity and rates of refractory CDI were assessed.

FINDINGS: In total, 256 patients with CDI (mean age 66 years, standard deviation 17, 52% female) were evaluated (before implementation: N = 144; after implementation: N = 112). Use of oral vancomycin for severe CDI increased significantly from 14% (N = 8) to 91% (N = 48) following implementation of the policy (P < 0.0001). Refractory disease in patients with severe CDI decreased significantly from 37% to 15% following implementation of the policy (P = 0.035). No significant differences were noted among patients with mild to moderate CDI.

CONCLUSION: A severity-based CDI treatment policy at a tertiary teaching hospital increased the use of oral vancomycin and was associated with decreased rates of refractory CDI.

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