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Evaluation of the Cost-effectiveness of Infection Control Strategies to Reduce Hospital-Onset Clostridioides difficile Infection

  • Barker, Anna K.1, 2
  • Scaria, Elizabeth3
  • Safdar, Nasia4, 5
  • Alagoz, Oguzhan2, 3
  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2 Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 3 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 4 Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 5 William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin
Published Article
JAMA Network Open
American Medical Association
Publication Date
Aug 13, 2020
DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.12522
PMID: 32789514
PMCID: PMC7426752
PubMed Central
  • Infectious Diseases
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Importance Clostridioides difficile infection is the most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States, yet few studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of infection control initiatives targeting C difficile . Objective To compare the cost-effectiveness of 9 C difficile single intervention strategies and 8 multi-intervention bundles. Design, Setting, and Participants This economic evaluation was conducted in a simulated 200-bed tertiary, acute care, adult hospital. The study relied on clinical outcomes from a published agent-based simulation model of C difficile transmission. The model included 4 agent types (ie, patients, nurses, physicians, and visitors). Cost and utility estimates were derived from the literature. Interventions Daily sporicidal cleaning, terminal sporicidal cleaning, health care worker hand hygiene, patient hand hygiene, visitor hand hygiene, health care worker contact precautions, visitor contact precautions, C difficile screening at admission, and reduced intrahospital patient transfers. Main Outcomes and Measures Cost-effectiveness was evaluated from the hospital perspective and defined by 2 measures: cost per hospital-onset C difficile infection averted and cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Results In this agent-based model of a simulated 200-bed tertiary, acute care, adult hospital, 5 of 9 single intervention strategies were dominant, reducing cost, increasing QALYs, and averting hospital-onset C difficile infection compared with baseline standard hospital practices. They were daily cleaning (most cost-effective, saving $358 268 and 36.8 QALYs annually), health care worker hand hygiene, patient hand hygiene, terminal cleaning, and reducing intrahospital patient transfers. Screening at admission cost $1283/QALY, while health care worker contact precautions and visitor hand hygiene interventions cost $123 264/QALY and $5 730 987/QALY, respectively. Visitor contact precautions was dominated, with increased cost and decreased QALYs. Adding screening, health care worker hand hygiene, and patient hand hygiene sequentially to the daily cleaning intervention formed 2-pronged, 3-pronged, and 4-pronged multi-intervention bundles that cost an additional $29 616/QALY, $50 196/QALY, and $146 792/QALY, respectively. Conclusions and Relevance The findings of this study suggest that institutions should seek to streamline their infection control initiatives and prioritize a smaller number of highly cost-effective interventions. Daily sporicidal cleaning was among several cost-saving strategies that could be prioritized over minimally effective, costly strategies, such as visitor contact precautions.

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