Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (OLBH) initiated two interventions designed to reduce the risk of C. diff infection (CDI) at the hospital. The results were a 59 percent decrease in hospital onset CDI, double the recent goal established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The achievement was detailed in the recently published The Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research.  

The study involved the use of a launderable bed barrier for hospital beds (Soteria® Bed Barrier, Trinity Guardion, Batesville IN) to improve environmental disinfection. The second means utilized for infection reduction was an antibiotic stewardship program based on Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and The Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines.

In collaboration with Xavier University researchers, OLBH’s team evaluated the impact of the two interventions using a retrospective pre-post study that began in 2014 and ended in 2018. The published study’s conclusion was that “the combination of the bed barrier and the antibiotic stewardship program were associated with a 59 percent reduction in hospital onset CDI.” CDI is a very infectious bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to inflammation of the colon.

“These are truly amazing results at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital,” said Dr. Edmond A. Hooker, the study’s lead author and professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. “OLBH’s C. diff rate is significantly lower than many other acute care hospitals in the US. This bed barrier provides a disinfected surface that cannot be achieved otherwise. Most hospitals are using processes to clean the bed and mattress that are not compliant with manufacturer’s instructions, do not work, and result in hospital acquired C. diff infections.”

“I want to compliment the staff at OLBH for the remarkable work,” said OLBH Director of Infection, Prevention & Control Christi McKinney. “In particular I’d like to thank the physicians of Bellefonte Infectious Disease Associates, Drs. Martin Gnoni and Francisco Fernandez Gonzalez, for their guidance and assistance with data collection.”
The study is available online at jheor.org. Search “bed barrier” to locate the full study.