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Evaluation of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) guideline implementation in the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers using the consolidated framework for implementation research.

Goedken CC, Guihan M, Brown CR, Ramanathan S, Vivo A, Suda KJ, Fitzpatrick MA, Poggensee L, Perencevich EN, Rubin M, Reisinger HS, Evans M, Evans CT. Evaluation of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) guideline implementation in the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers using the consolidated framework for implementation research. Implementation science communications. 2021 Jun 29; 2(1):69.

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BACKGROUND: Infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenemase-producing (CP) CRE are difficult to treat, resulting in high mortality in healthcare settings every year. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) disseminated guidelines in 2015 and an updated directive in 2017 for control of CRE focused on laboratory testing, prevention, and management. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) framework was used to analyze qualitative interview data to identify contextual factors and best practices influencing implementation of the 2015 guidelines/2017 directive in VA Medical Centers (VAMCs). The overall goals were to determine CFIR constructs to target to improve CRE guideline/directive implementation and understand how CFIR, as a multi-level conceptual model, can be used to inform guideline implementation. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted at 29 VAMCs with staff involved in implementing CRE guidelines at their facility. Survey and VHA administrative data were used to identify geographically representative large and small VAMCs with varying levels of CRE incidence. Interviews addressed perceptions of guideline dissemination, laboratory testing, staff attitudes and training, patient education, and technology support. Participant responses were coded using a consensus-based mixed deductive-inductive approach guided by CFIR. A quantitative analysis comparing qualitative CFIR constructs and emergent codes to sites actively screening for CRE (vs. non-screening) and any (vs. no) CRE-positive cultures was conducted using Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: Forty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted between October 2017 and August 2018 with laboratory staff (47%), Multi-Drug-Resistant Organism Program Coordinators (MPCs, 35%), infection preventionists (12%), and physicians (6%). Participants requested more standardized tools to promote effective communication (e.g., electronic screening). Participants also indicated that CRE-specific educational materials were needed for staff, patient, and family members. Quantitative analysis identified CRE screening or presence of CRE as being significantly associated with the following qualitative CFIR constructs: leadership engagement, relative priority, available resources, team communication, and access to knowledge and information. CONCLUSIONS: Effective CRE identification, prevention, and treatment require ongoing collaboration between clinical, microbiology, infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, and infectious diseases specialists. Our results emphasize the importance of leadership's role in promoting positive facility culture, including access to resources, improving communication, and facilitating successful implementation of the CRE guidelines.

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