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1.  Risk factors for acquisition of carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae in an acute tertiary care hospital in Singapore 
Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is increasingly reported worldwide. A similar increase is seen in Singapore since identification of its first case in 2008. The aim of this study was to identify local risk factors for carriage of CRE in patients from an acute tertiary care hospital in Singapore.
A matched case-control study was conducted on inpatients treated from January 1, 2011 till December 31, 2013. Two hundred and three cases of CRE infection or colonization were matched with 203 controls. CRE types were identified by PCR. Statistical analysis of data including a multivariate logistic regression analysis was done using SPSS 21.0.
CREs were commonly seen in Klebsiella pneumoniae (42.2 %), Escherichia coli (24.3 %) and Enterobacter cloacae complex (17.2 %) in the 268 isolates. NDM-1 was the commonest CRE type seen (44.4 %), followed by KPC (39.9 %) whilst OXA-48 only constituted (7.8 %). Univariate analysis identified key risk factors associated with CRE as history of previous overseas hospitalization (OR: 33.667; 95 % CI: 4.539-259.700), admission to ICU (OR: 11.899; 95 % CI: 4.986-28.399) and HD/ICA (OR: 6.557; 95 % CI: 4.057-10.596); whilst a multivariate analysis revealed exposure to antibiotics penicillin (OR: 4.640; 95 % CI: 1.529-14.079] and glycopeptide (OR: 5.162; 95 % CI: 1.377-19.346) and presence of central line device (OR: 3.117; 95 % CI: 1.167-8.330) as significant independent predictors.
The identification of risk factors amongst our local population helped to refine the criteria used for target active surveillance screening for CRE amongst inpatients at time of hospital admission.
PMCID: PMC4477303  PMID: 26106476
Enterobacteriaceae; Carbapenem resistant; Risk factors; Epidemiology
2.  Preparedness of institutions around the world for managing patients with Ebola virus disease: an infection control readiness checklist 
In response to global concerns about the largest Ebola virus disease (EVD), outbreak to-date in West Africa documented healthcare associated transmission and the risk of global spread, the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC) Infection Control Working Group created an Ebola Infection Control Readiness Checklist to assess the preparedness of institutions around the globe. We report data from the electronic checklist that was disseminated to medical professionals from October to December 2014 and identify action needed towards better preparedness levels.
Data from 192 medical professionals (one third from Africa) representing 125 hospitals in 45 countries around the globe were obtained through a specifically developed electronic survey. The survey contained 76 specific questions in 7 major sections: Administrative/operational support; Communications; Education and audit; Human resources, Supplies, Infection Prevention and Control practices and Clinical management of patients. The majority of respondents were infectious disease specialists/infection control consultants/clinical microbiologists (75; 39 %), followed by infection control professionals (59; 31 %) and medical doctors of other specialties (17; 9 %). Nearly all (149; 92 %) were directly involved in Ebola preparedness activities. Whilst, 54 % indicated that their hospital would need to handle suspected and proven Ebola cases, the others would subsequently transfer suspected cases to a specialized centre.
The results from our survey reveal that the general preparedness levels for management of potentially suspected cases of Ebola virus disease is only partially adequate in hospitals. Hospitals designated for admitting EVD suspected and proven patients had more frequently implemented Infection Control preparedness activities than hospitals that would subsequently transfer potential EVD cases to other centres. Results from this first international survey provide a framework for future efforts to improve hospital preparedness worldwide.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0061-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4459682  PMID: 26056563
Ebola virus disease; EVD outbreak; EVD preparedness; Personal protective equipment
3.  Impact of a hospital-wide hand hygiene promotion strategy on healthcare-associated infections 
During the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, high compliance in healthcare workers to hand hygiene was primarily driven by fear. However, the post-SARS period confirmed that this practice was not sustainable. At the Singapore General Hospital, a 1,600-bedded acute tertiary care hospital, the hand hygiene program was revised in early 2007 following Singapore's signing of the pledge to the World Health Organization (WHO) "Clean Care is Safer Care" program.
A multi-prong approach was used in designing the hand hygiene program. This included system change; training and education; evaluation and feedback; reminders in the workplace; and institutional safety climate. Hand hygiene compliance rate improved from 20% (in January 2007) to 61% (2010). Improvement was also seen annually in the compliance to each of the 5 moments as well as in all staff categories. Healthcare-associated MRSA infections were reduced from 0.6 (2007) to 0.3 (2010) per 1000 patient-days.
Leadership's support of the program evidenced through visible leadership presence, messaging and release of resources is the key factor in helping to make the program a true success. The hospital was recognised as a Global Hand Hygiene Expert Centre in January 2011. The WHO multi-prong interventions work in improving compliance and reducing healthcare associated infections.
PMCID: PMC3436662  PMID: 22958911
hand hygiene; healthcare-associated infections; system change

Results 1-3 (3)