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Most C. Diff Infections Start in Healthcare Facilities

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 7, 2012

The CDC's 6-Point Checklist

The CDC issued its report with a six-point list of lessons from the three-state effort, the most important of which is to prescribe and use antibiotics more carefully, taking care to stop them when they aren't needed.

1. Don't over treat. "About 50% of antibiotics given (to patients) are not needed, but they unnecessarily raise the risk of C. difficile infection," by destroying good bacteria that keep C. difficile in check, he said.

2. All healthcare facilities should inform subsequent providers whenever they transfer or discharge a patient with C. difficile infection, so the downstream caregivers are better prepared.  To get that done, McDonald called on state health departments to form hospital collaboratives or even take regulatory steps to make sure facilities communicate.

3. Providers should make sure to test patients for C. difficile when they have diarrhea while on antibiotics or within several months after taking the medication.

4. Providers should immediately place infected patients into isolation upon arrival at their facilities.

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