The Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare-Associated Infections.

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The profound changes wrought by COVID-19 on routine hospital operations may have influenced performance on hospital measures, including healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). We aimed to evaluate the association between COVID-19 surges and HAI and cluster rates.


In 148 HCA Healthcare-affiliated hospitals, 3/1/2020-9/30/2020, and a subset of hospitals with microbiology and cluster data through 12/31/2020, we evaluated the association between COVID-19 surges and HAIs, hospital-onset pathogens, and cluster rates using negative binomial mixed models. To account for local variation in COVID-19 pandemic surge timing, we included the number of discharges with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis per staffed bed per month.


Central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia increased as COVID-19 burden increased. There were 60% (95% CI, 23-108%) more CLABSI, 43% (95% CI, 8-90%) more CAUTI, and 44% (95% CI, 10-88%) more cases of MRSA bacteremia than expected over 7 months based on predicted HAIs had there not been COVID-19 cases. Clostridioides difficile infection was not significantly associated with COVID-19 burden. Microbiology data from 81 of the hospitals corroborated the findings. Notably, rates of hospital-onset bloodstream infections and multidrug resistant organisms, including MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococcus and Gram-negative organisms were each significantly associated with COVID-19 surges. Finally, clusters of hospital-onset pathogens increased as the COVID-19 burden increased.


COVID-19 surges adversely impact HAI rates and clusters of infections within hospitals, emphasizing the need for balancing COVID-related demands with routine hospital infection prevention.

Clin Infect Dis
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare-Associated Infections.
Baker MA, Sands KE, Huang SS, Kleinman K, Septimus EJ, Varma N, Blanchard J, Poland RE, Coady MH, Yokoe DS, Fraker S, Froman A, Moody J, Goldin L, Isaacs A, Kleja K, Korwek KM, Stelling J, Clark A, Platt R, Perlin JB,