Background: Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) is a common hospital-acquired infection which can lead to major implications for patients and our health care system. In this study, we examine a policy change at a single-site Veterans Affairs Healthcare system that allowed bedside nurses to order C. difficile testing in addition to physicians on the time to obtain test results and initiate treatment.
Methods: The time to receive results and initiate treatment were analyzed before and after the policy change, and between physicians and nurses using descriptive statistics and paired student t-tests. Variables associated with lower ordering times were also analyzed using logistic regression while adjusting for patient admission location and length of inpatient hospital stay.
Results: The difference in time to obtain the result both before and after the policy change and between ordering provider type were both statistically significant (P < .05). In unadjusted models, nurses were associated with faster test results compared to physicians (OR (95% CI) 1.72 (1.45-2.05).
Conclusions: Allowing bedside nurses more autonomy to order the stool sample significantly decreased the amount of time to receive the results, potentially decreasing the risk of additional infections among patients and decreasing the economic burden on the hospital.
Keywords: Hospital policies; Hospital policy change; Hospital-acquired infection control; Ordering time; Stool samples.
Published by Elsevier Inc.