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Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Aug 15;65(4):581-587. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix370.

The Potential for Interventions in a Long-term Acute Care Hospital to Reduce Transmission of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Affiliated Healthcare Facilities.

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Department of Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City Health Care System, Utah.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.



Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are high-priority bacterial pathogens targeted for efforts to decrease transmissions and infections in healthcare facilities. Some regions have experienced CRE outbreaks that were likely amplified by frequent transmission in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). Planning and funding of intervention efforts focused on LTACHs is one proposed strategy to contain outbreaks; however, the potential regional benefits of such efforts are unclear.


We designed an agent-based simulation model of patients in a regional network of 10 healthcare facilities including 1 LTACH, 3 short-stay acute care hospitals (ACHs), and 6 nursing homes (NHs). The model was calibrated to achieve realistic patient flow and CRE transmission and detection rates. We then simulated the initiation of an entirely LTACH-focused intervention in a previously CRE-free region, including active surveillance for CRE carriers and enhanced isolation of identified carriers.


When initiating the intervention at the first clinical CRE detection in the LTACH, cumulative CRE transmissions over 5 years across all 10 facilities were reduced by 79%-93% compared to no-intervention simulations. This result was robust to changing assumptions for transmission within non-LTACH facilities and flow of patients from the LTACH. Delaying the intervention until the 20th CRE detection resulted in substantial delays in achieving optimal regional prevalence, while still reducing transmissions by 60%-79% over 5 years.


Focusing intervention efforts on LTACHs is potentially a highly efficient strategy for reducing CRE transmissions across an entire region, particularly when implemented as early as possible in an emerging outbreak.


active surveillance; carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae; long-term acute care hospital; mathematical model; transmission

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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