What CDC is Doing to Reduce C. diff  Infections

CDC is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other federal partners to reduce C. diff infections by 30% by 2020.

To reach our goals of reducing C. diff infections, CDC is:

  • Continuing to promote CDC’s guidelines for infection control and working with partners. (See the Infection Control Guideline Library.)
  • Building prevention collaboratives in states with high C. diff infection rates.
  • Working with healthcare facilities to identify and address barriers for C. diff infection prevention.
  • Expanding implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs in all healthcare settings, including dental offices and outpatient settings, and focusing on specific antibiotics linked to C. diff infections.
  • Using innovation to address critical questions such as the role of asymptomatic carriers, transmission dynamics, the patient’s microbiome, and environmental cleaning.

C. diff infections are an urgent problem in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehab facilities, and skilled nursing facilities and in communities. C. diff infections can spread more widely when patients move between these healthcare facilities, both within and between communities. 

With our public health partners, we are:

  • Tracking and reporting national progress toward preventing  C. diff infections in many types of healthcare facilities. These programs help track the size of the problem, antibiotics used, and people at risk. The 2016 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report provides a summary of select HAIs, including C. diff, across four healthcare settings.
  • Promoting C. diff prevention programs and providing gold-standard patient safety recommendations.
  • Providing prevention expertise, as well as outbreak and laboratory support to health departments and facilities.

How does CDC track C. diff infections?

These CDC programs help track the size of the problem, antibiotics used in treating the infection, and people with C. diff infections.

What research is CDC doing to reduce C. diff  infections?

CDC works with networks of trusted partners to discover, implement, and evaluate innovative ways to improve healthcare quality and patient safety.

One example is CDC’s investment in projects expanding our understanding of the relationship between antibiotics and the microbiome. Antibiotics can disrupt (unbalance) your microbiome, a community of naturally occurring germs in and on our bodies.

Understanding how the microbiome and infections are connected is the next frontier in protecting the public’s health. Together with researchers, CDC is answering:

  • How do antibiotics disrupt a healthy microbiome?
  • How does a disrupted microbiome put us at risk?
  • How can tailoring antibiotic use protect the microbiome?

 

CDC-Supported Research

Other efforts to reduce C. diff

Federal Initiatives

Academic and Professional Partners