Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Significant Cultural Transformation is Underway
Each year, more than 4 million U.S. patients are admitted to or reside in long-term care (LTC) facilities with an estimated 1-3 million acquiring serious infections and approximately 380,000 of those infections resulting in death.1 The common infection types include urinary tract, diarrheal diseases, bacterial and viral respiratory tract and infections due to multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) and Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging fungal pathogen. These infections are associated with readmission to acute care hospitals and cost billions in additional health care costs per year. The frequency of inter-facility transfers, high acuity and use of invasive devices (e.g. urinary catheters and central venous catheters), as well as the overutilization of antibiotics has resulted in an extremely high MDRO prevalence in this population.