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Frontline perspectives of C. difficile infection prevention practice implementation within veterans affairs health care facilities: A qualitative study.
Parmasad V, Keating J, McKinley L, Evans C, Rubin M, Voils C, Safdar N. Frontline perspectives of C. difficile infection prevention practice implementation within veterans affairs health care facilities: A qualitative study. American journal of infection control. 2023 Oct 1; 51(10):1124-1131.
In 2012, the veteran's affairs (VA) multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) Program Office launched a national Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI) Prevention Initiative to address CDI as the most common cause of healthcare associated infections, mandating use of a VA CDI Bundle of prevention practices in inpatient facilities. We draw upon frontline worker perspectives to explore work system barriers and facilitators to the sustained implementation of the VA CDI Bundle using the systems engineering initiative for patient safety (SEIPS) framework.
We interviewed 29 key stakeholders at 4 participating sites between October 2019-July 2021. Participants included infection prevention and control (IPC) leaders, nurses, physicians, and environmental management staff. Interviews were analyzed to identify themes and perceptions of facilitators and barriers to CDI prevention.
IPC leadership was most likely to know of the specific VA CDI Bundle components. Other participants demonstrated general knowledge of CDI prevention practices, with role-based variation in the depth of awareness of specific practices. Facilitators included leadership support, mandated CDI training and prevention practices, and readily available training from multiple sources. Barriers included limits to communication about facility or unit-level CDI rates, ambiguous communications about CDI prevention practice updates and VA mandates, and role-hierarchies that may limit team members' clinical contributions.
Recommendations include improving centrally-mandated clarity about and standardization of CDI prevention policies, including testing. Regular IPC training updates for all clinical stakeholders are also recommended.
A work system analysis using SEIPS identified barriers and facilitators to CDI prevention practices that could be addressed both nationally at the system level and locally at the facility level, specifically in the areas of communication and coordination.