Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN) has recognized 17 South Dakota nursing homes as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) Trailblazers as a result of their successful participation in the Nursing Home C. difficile Reporting and Reduction Initiative. The initiative’s aim was to understand more clearly how often this bacteria causes infections in nursing home residents and to establish a national baseline utilizing a national reporting system.
South Dakota C. difficile Trailblazers
Symptoms of C. difficile range from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon and many cases occur after use of antibiotics. A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that C. difficile caused almost half a million infections among patients in the United States in a single year, with more than 100,000 of these infections occurring in people living in nursing homes. In addition, a federal study found that 70 percent of C. difficile infection-related harm to Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes could have been prevented.
As participants in the initiative, nursing homes accurately and consistently collected and tracked their C. difficile data for each month of 2018 and submitted it into the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) database.
“This is important and groundbreaking work by our South Dakota nursing home trailblazers as they helped establish a national baseline for C. difficile infections, which is an essential step in quality reporting and reduction of C. difficile in nursing homes,” said Teresa Haatvedt, RN, BSN, CDP, Great Plains QIN –South Dakota program manager for the initiative.
The South Dakota Department of Health’s Health Associated Infection Program joined the effort which was directed by South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, the Great Plains QIN partner for South Dakota. The initiative provided support to nursing homes to submit infection data and implement antibiotic stewardship principles and other quality improvement practices. The result is better infection reporting and, ultimately, better care and quality of life for nursing home residents.
Connect with a nursing home content expert and find information, tools and resources related to quality improvement in nursing homes on the Great Plains QIN website.