Rush University Medical Center decreased rates of hospital-acquired C. diff infection by 57% per 10,000 patient days in the 9-month intervention period by improving early symptom identification, C. diff testing, and environment cleaning audits in Epic. In addition to lowered infection rates, they saved an estimated $1.2 million based on the projected cost of C. diff infections.
Epic notifies nurses when a patient has symptoms of a C. diff infection, so they can test patients per protocol, allowing for earlier identification without adding to physicians’ workload. In addition, early testing helps better classify community-acquired versus hospital-acquired C. diff rates, especially in the emergency department. Environmental services managers see reports of patients with C. diff in Epic and complete cleaning audits to help ensure rooms are cleaned using infection prevention best practices.
For its efforts in reducing hospital-acquired C. diff infection rates, Rush was one of several Epic community members to receive a 2018 HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award. Epic community members can learn more about reducing C. diff infection rates in related Clinical Programs from UW Health on suggesting alternative antibiotics and from Johns Hopkins on reducing unnecessary C. diff testing.