Title

Consultation on Surveillance and Monitoring of CIostridium Difficile Infection in Australia: Discussion Paper

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2015

Publication Details

This original creative work was originally published as:

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2015). Consultation on surveillance and monitoring of Clostridium difficile infection in Australia: Discussion paper. Sydney, Australia: ACSQHC.

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Abstract

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an infection that commonly affects hospitalised patients and people in the community. The transmission, prevention and control of CDI are complex. Internationally, the incidence of CDI has increased significantly over the past 10 years. In Australia, the epidemiology of CDI is unclear as there has been variability in the rates reported over time, with peaks and a general upward trend in the number of cases reported. Understanding the epidemiology of CDI is paramount in developing and evaluating strategies to reduce the incidence of CDI. Data from both research and surveillance systems with timely dissemination of information will enhance prevention and control strategies. In Australia to date, the current understanding of CDI has been hampered as there is no aligned, co-ordinated approach to the analysis of data collated through the jurisdictional surveillance units. Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions and professional organisations have developed a range of prevention and control strategies that would be enhanced by a national approach to surveillance and reporting.

Advice from clinical experts suggests the strategies required will be based primarily on the issues covered in this discussion paper: coordinated surveillance; standardisation of laboratory testing and practice; and the identification of research priorities. Communication and oversight will be imperative to ensure that Australia has a system in place that can identify and respond to changes in CDI epidemiology, and to avoid outbreaks associated with high patient morbidity and mortality.

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