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SSI Clostridium Difficile


C. difficile is a common hospital-acquired bacterial infection which spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces. It causes 500,000 infections and 29,000 deaths per year in the United States, and costs up to $4.8 billion annually in excess healthcare costs. Due to emergence of resistant strains of bacteria, C. difficile-related deaths have increased 400% between 2000-2007. Rigorous surveillance and early detection of outbreaks could save both lives and money. Previous SPC surveillance work at HSyE has focused on surgical site infections (SSIs), and has demonstrated that optimized SPC methods can detect SSI outbreaks with high accuracy. Using these findings we are now conducting preliminary explorations of optimizing SPC charts for C. difficile.


To investigate the use of such optimized SPC methods to monitor and detect C. difficile infection outbreaks.

Partners & Research Team

From the Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention:

  • Deverick Anderson, MD, MPH

  • Arthur Baker, MD, MPH


From the Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow: Iulian Ilies, PhD

  • Undergraduate Students: Nathan Holler, Nicole Nehls, Erin Joyce

  • Project Manager: Margo Jacobsen


Poster accepted to the 2018 Society for Health Systems (SHS) Health System Process Improvement Conference. More results will be available as projects are finished.

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