Cucina and colleagues examined EHR data on time and location to map 434,745 patient location changes throughout the UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus from January 2013 to December 2015.
Patients with a CDI were considered C. difficile positive from the time the positive test was ordered until hospital discharge and places were considered potentially contaminated for 24 hours after a patient with CDI visited them.
The researchers noted that hospitalized patients who hadn't yet tested positive for CDI but passed through a potentially contaminated space were considered exposed to C. difficile, while those who were in the same space at any other time were seen as the unexposed group.
Cucina and colleagues found a total of 1,152 cases of laboratory-documented CDI, with CDI-positive patients moving through an average of four locations while hospitalized.
Aside from CT-ED, there were no other significant sources of exposure-related infections and the effect was not significant in an adjusted hospital-wide analysis.
The researchers also reported that a subsequent investigation showed that cleaning practices for the CT-ED didn't match the standardized methods in other radiology suites, spurring the hospital to update the cleaning practices.
Cucina concluded that leveraging EHR data for spatial and temporal analytics may be a widely applicable strategy for infection control and quality improvement.
The researchers reported no financial disclosures of interest.