Researchers Study Effect of Single-Occupancy Rooms on Acquisition of ESBL-E

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) are a well-known cause of healthcare-associated infections. The implementation of single-occupancy rooms is believed to decrease the spread of ESBL-E. Additionally, implementation of single-occupancy rooms is expected to reduce the need for intra-hospital patient transfers. van der Schoor, et al. (2022) studied the impact of a new hospital with 100% single-occupancy rooms on the acquisition of ESBL-E and on intra-hospital patient transfers.

In 2018, the Erasmus MC University Medical Center moved from an old, 1200-bed hospital with mainly multiple-occupancy rooms, to a newly constructed 522-bed hospital with 100% single-occupancy rooms. Adult patients admitted between January 2018 and September 2019 with an expected hospitalization of ≥ 48 hours were asked to participate in this study. Perianal samples were taken at admission and discharge. Patient characteristics and clinical information, including number of intra-hospital patient transfers, were collected from the patients’ electronic health records.

Five hundred and ninety-seven patients were included, 225 in the old and 372 in the new hospital building. Fifty-one (8.5%) ESBL-E carriers were identified. Thirty-four (66.7%) patients were already positive at admission, of which 23 without recent hospitalization. Twenty patients acquired an ESBL-E, seven (3.1%) in the old and 13 (3.5%) in the new hospital building (P = 0.801). Forty-one (80.4%) carriers were only detected by the active screening performed during this study. Only 10 (19.6%) patients, six before and four during hospitalization, showed ESBL-E in a clinical sample taken on medical indication. Fifty-six (24.9%) patients were transferred to other rooms in the old hospital, compared to 53 (14.2%) in the new hospital building (P = 0.001). Intra-hospital patient transfers were associated with ESBL-E acquisition (OR 3.18, 95%CI 1.27–7.98), with increasing odds when transferred twice or more.

Transitioning to 100% single-occupancy rooms did not decrease ESBL-E acquisition, but did significantly decrease the number of intra-hospital patient transfers. The latter was associated with lower odds on ESBL-E acquisition. ESBL-E carriers remained largely unidentified through clinical samples.

Reference: van der Schoor AS, et al. he effect of 100% single-occupancy rooms on acquisition of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacterales and intra-hospital patient transfers: a prospective before-and-after study. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Vol. 11, article number 76 (2022).