In October 2007, a governmental 3-year target to reduce Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) by 30%, with financial penalties levied for failure, was introduced in England. This target was met within just 1 year, leading to speculation of 'gaming', with hospitals empirically treating possible CDI in the absence of a microbiological diagnosis, to avoid having to report confirmed cases. An analysis of aggregate mandatory data on levels of testing for C. difficile toxin showed little evidence of a fall in testing during the steepest infection rate reductions, suggesting that this was not a major factor in the decline in CDI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
All of the authors work for Public Health England, which is funded by the British Government . None of the authors have anything else to declare.
- Clostridium difficile
- Stool samples
- Toxin testing