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5/1/2019 – National – PRESS RELEASE
Closing the Treatment Gap: Nutrition Pathway Tools for Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI) Care and Recovery

The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Medicine article, “Nutrition Pathway for Clostridium Difficle Infection (CDI) Colitis in Long-Term Care,” highlights adoption of new care tools to help long-term care facilities move beyond antibiotic treatment of CDIs for better outcomes and fewer relapses. 


Columbia, SC, May 1, 2019 — Article co-authors, Marilee Mohr, RN, MSN; and Sarah Smith, MAT, RD, LD, CDE; of the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) provided some insight into the development and impact of the Nutrition Pathway tools. 

“C. difficile infections, a result of extended antibiotic use, can cause serious gastro intestinal injury. In working with nursing homes, we found that most focused on the antibiotic treatment but not the care, recovery, and prevention of C. difficile relapse,” explained Marilee Mohr, quality specialist with CCME. 

Knowing that nutrition plays a key role in recovering from CDI and preventing relapse Mohr and Smith, identified this as stemming from an education gap between staff, patients, and care partners when it came to nutritional support in healing. 

The resulting Nutrition Pathway tools focus on three areas—dehydration, malabsorption, and malnutrition. A collaboration between nurse and registered dietitian, the tools provide ideas to entice appetites with colorful presentations and smaller, more frequent meals in addition to quantifying the necessary caloric and fluid intake for recovery. 

To address different user needs, two tools were created by CCME, in conjunction with Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (QIN) task: The Nutrition Pathway for CDI Colitis in Long-Term Care and “At a Glance” Nutrition Care for CDI, A Recovery Guide for Patients’ Care Partners. 

“They include specific foods, use of probiotics, hydration, and techniques to encourage improved appetite and recovery,” said Smith. “The long-term care tool is designed to be integrated into the patient’s plan of care and includes specific information for use during recovery and to prevent relapse.” 

Mohr highlighted the fact that the Nutrition Pathway tools were piloted in a group of SC nursing homes with, "an overwhelmingly positive response from staff and families. In fact, one hospital affiliated with a pilot nursing home plans to use these tools as part of their discharge education going forward.” 

Both tools have since been shared with other Quality Improvement Networks nationwide and presented at the AMDA conference, including physicians affiliated with the CDC and medical schools, Palmetto APIC, and DHEC Epidemiology staff. 

Downloads of the Nutrition Pathway tools and journal article are available here.

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