HAI High Sign Newsletter JAN/FEB 2022

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January/February · Volume 13, Issue 89

Antimicrobial Resistance (AR)   Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI)
Virginia Department of Health (VDH)   United States (U.S.)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

In this Newsletter:

News in Virginia

VDH Tuberculosis (TB) Program Updates. 

CDC Releases Updated TB 101 Course: The CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE), is pleased to announce the release of the updated TB 101 for Health Care Workers online course. This edition contains updated information about the treatment of latent TB infection and TB disease, based on the latest available guidance.

  • The course is interactive and consists of 6 lessons.
  • The target audience for the course includes newly hired TB program staff and health care workers in areas related to TB. It is also a great resource for any health care worker to refresh their knowledge of TB.
  • Free CEUs are available for this course.

Annual TB Education Template: The VDH TB Program has developed a template for facilities and agencies to use when conducting their annual TB education for staff. The presentation can be downloaded here. Or can be found on the VDH TB Program website on the Screening and Testing page.

2021-2022 Influenza Season. 2021-22 flu season activity is increasing nationally and in Virginia, particularly influenza A (H3N2). VDH publishes weekly influenza report every Thursday on the VDH Influenza Surveillance website

The severity of the 2021–22 influenza season is still uncertain. CDC is anticipating an increase in influenza related illness this season due to the lower level of community immunity. With SARS-CoV-2 also circulating, illnesses associated with both influenza and COVID-19 might further stress our healthcare systems. 

This season’s available influenza vaccines provide protection against four different influenza viruses: A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2), B/Victoria lineage, and B/Yamagata lineages; the influenza A(H3N2) component was recently updated in response to the evolution of the new A(H3N2) group of viruses called 2a (i.e., 3C.2a1b.2a). Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from serious health outcomes. So, don’t skip your flu vaccine this season. January is not too late to get your flu vaccine! 

                                         CDC #FlightFLu

COVID-19 Updates. 

           CDC Work Restrictions

Survey for ALF Staff. Virginia Department of Social Services is conducting a survey on infection prevention and control practices for licensed assisted living facility providers as part of the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC) grant received from Virginia Department of Health. The intent of the survey is to obtain information regarding infection prevention and control practices and training needs from ALL individuals working in assisted living facilities. This information will be used to develop training programs for facility staff specific to the training needs identified in the survey and to assist in improving infection control practices within the assisted living facility setting. Only individuals currently working in assisted living facilities should complete this survey. This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed using this link VDSS Infection Prevention and Control Survey 

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Upcoming CMS HAI Reporting Deadline. The deadline to enter 2021 Q3 data into NHSN for the CMS Quality Reporting Programs for participating acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and cancer hospitals is February 15, 2022. To ensure your data have been correctly entered into NHSN, please verify that: 1) your monthly reporting plans are complete, 2) you have entered appropriate summary and event data or checked the appropriate no events boxes, and 3) you have cleared all alerts from your NHSN facility homepage. Hospitals that have conferred rights to VDH will be receiving a quality assurance report in February, so please be sure to check your email and acknowledge receipt and review. Please remember to update the VDH HAI/AR Program with any IP contact changes. For additional guidance on ensuring your data are accurately sent to CMS for Quality Reporting purposes, please visit the NHSN website and navigate to the appropriate section(s) for your facility type.  

2021 Patient Safety Component Annual Survey. The 2021 Patient Safety Component (PSC) Annual Survey was released on January 1, 2022. This mandatory survey is to be completed by all facilities enrolled in the NHSN PSC and must report information on hospital characteristics and practices for the previous calendar year. While completing the 2021 PSC facility survey, you will observe changes to the following sections: facility characteristics, microbiology laboratory practices, infection control practices, neonatal, antibiotic stewardship practices, and water management. Some questions have been rewritten or re-formatted for clarity and previously optional questions are now required. The survey must be completed by March 1, 2022. Facilities that do not meet this deadline will be unable to create monthly reporting plans. 

2020 National and State HAI Progress Report. CDC released the 2020 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report showing significant increases between 2019 and 2020 in some HAIs for some facility types, including: a 35% increase in the standardized infection ratio (SIR) for ventilator-associated events (VAEs), 24% increase in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and a 15% increase in hospital-onset MRSA for acute care hospitals. Read the full 2020 HAI Progress Report, including the executive summary, data tables, and technical appendix and frequently asked questions. Data for the HAI Progress Report are also available in CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance & Patient Safety Portal (AR&PSP), an interactive web-based application that shows data collected through CDC’s NHSN and other sources. 

Training & Education

Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center (VIPTC). Register for the upcoming Virginia Infection Prevention Training Center’s COVID-19 and Long-term Care Facilities webinar on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 12:00 pm. Speakers for the webinar include Dr. Arjun Srinivasan and Dr. Michael Stevens. For more information about VIPTC click here


Project Firstline. The VDH Project Firstline Team will soon announce new training opportunities for 2022.  Follow VDH on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram (@cdcgov) for more details!

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Respiratory Protection Program. The VDH HAI/AR Program  created a Resource Guide for Developing a Respiratory Program. The guide includes:

Surgical Site InfectionsTraining. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s Center for Healthcare Excellence & the Virginia Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Group invite you to join us in this Educational Webinar Series where state and national experts will cover interventions intended to reduce and/or eliminate surgical site infections following abdominal hysterectomies.

All webinars will be held from 12:00-1:00PM

  1. Wednesday, February 16, 2022 - Surgical Site Infection Sources: Endogenous, Exogenous, and the Preventable - Speakers: Jessica Seidelman, MD, Duke University School of Medicine. Register Here
  2. Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - Abdominal Hysterectomy SSI Prevention & Best Practices - Speaker: Barb DeBaun, IP Consultant, Cynosure Health. Register Here

Treatment of Candida auris. Did you catch the “Treatment Options for Candida auris” presentation during Antibiotics Awareness Week, in November? If you missed it, or would like to learn more, you can view the presentation slides and recording on our website!  

Virginia Patient Safety Summit - February 24, 2022: SAVE THE DATE for the eleventh annual Virginia Patient Safety Summit, scheduled as a free virtual event on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. The Summit is one of the premiere patient safety events held each year in the Commonwealth. After nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Patient Safety Summit is an opportunity to celebrate the great work being done in Virginia to continue to provide safe, high-quality care, while fostering joy in work among Virginia healthcare providers. 

                                                        Virginia Patient Safety Summit

Research Corner

CRE Prescribing Patterns. A recent study examined prescribing patterns of antibiotics for patients with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Investigators found a high rate of prescribing a new antibiotic for CRE, ceftazidime-avibactam. They also observed a higher uptake rate of extended-spectrum cephalosporins. Results indicate a shift toward new antibiotic agents to treat CRE.

COVID-19 Risk Factors and Mortality Outcomes Among Medicare Patients Receiving Long-Term Dialysis. A study was conducted to identify risk factors associated with COVID-19 and mortality in Medicare patients undergoing long-term dialysis. This cohort study among 498,169 patients receiving regular maintenance dialysis found several risk factors for COVID-19 that persisted as risk factors for mortality. The findings suggested that among patients undergoing long-term dialysis, Black race, male sex, nursing home status, and having comorbidities, such as diabetes and cardiac diseases, were associated with higher risk of COVID-19 and higher post–COVID-19 mortality. 

SARS-CoV-2 Environment Contamination from Hospitalised Patients with COVID-19 receiving Aerosol-Generating Procedures: Continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) and high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) are considered ‘aerosol-generating procedures’ in the treatment of COVID-19. Read this recent study to learn more about the evolving evidence from hospitalised patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and the risks of occupational/nosocomial exposure.  Findings indicate a need for an evidence-based reassessment of infection prevention and control measures for non-invasive respiratory support treatments that are currently considered ‘aerosol generating procedures.’

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Awareness Events

National Blood Donor Month - January 2022: The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Your donation is desperately needed! Click here to learn how you can donate today! 

Celebrate IV Nurse Day! Every January 25, infusion nurses and other healthcare professionals observe National IV Nurses Day. Let’s show appreciation to our nurses, colleagues, or friends! 

National Patient Recognition Week - February 1-7, 2022: National Patient Recognition Week places the emphasis on patients, rather than healthcare workers. It’s also a week where healthcare workers recommit to ensuring patient satisfaction.  

We Want To Hear From You!
We would like to thank all facilities across Virginia for their continued efforts to reduce antimicrobial resistance.  We know there are programs across Virginia doing great work to reduce antimicrobial resistance and we want to hear about it! If you would like to have your facility spotlighted in a future edition of the HAI High Sign, please email hai@vdh.virginia.gov.