Conquering C-Diff: How One Facility Lowered Facility-Acquired C-Diff Infections

Success Story IconLiberty Commons at Broadreach Health is located in the picturesque town of North Chatham, Massachusetts. Known as a “Community of Care on Cape Cod,” Liberty Commons is a rehabilitation and skilled care center with short-term inpatient programs and an outpatient rehabilitation clinic. Services offered include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and aquatics.

The team at Liberty Commons recently discovered a problem regarding the transmission of c-diff spores when caring for residents that couldn’t be moved to a private room, or placed in a group of other residents. After close observation it was determined that the emptying procedures of the commode used by c-diff source individuals had the potential to disseminate the c-diff spores. The issue was observed to be affecting staff despite efforts to provide education, so the leadership team at Liberty Commons took action.

A bimonthly QA meeting was set up with medical staff and an Infection Control Team to review cases of infections, and to discuss the implementation of new policies and procedures. The most effective solution implemented was the use of Sani-bags. After the Sani-bags were utilized, there were little to no facility-acquired c-diff infections. The Sani-bags work by containing loose feces and transforming them into a gel-like substance that helps trap the infected spores. The Sani-bags were the most effective solution the team tried to implement, and they were noted as the key to the facility’s success in containing c-diff infections.

Any additional facility-acquired c-diff cases are reviewed on a case to case basis to determine whether contact precautions are required or should remain in effect. The New England QIN-QIO’s involvement in the case revolved around the provision of education via webinars, and new tools for the facility to implement in trying out various solutions to their issue.

As a result of the Liberty Common’s staff efforts, only 4 residents admitted in the past year were reported as having a facility-acquired c-diff, and it all cases it was determined on re-culture 14 days or longer after admission that they were c-diff positive. However, in all cases the residents had been treated for c-diff prior to admission. Facility leadership will continue to educate staff on proper handwashing techniques and the proper use of Sani-bags, and are confident they will be able to maintain their success.