Impact of Rapid PCR Influenza Testing on the Rate of Inpatient Admissions During Influenza Season at a Tertiary-Care Center

Jordan Polistico, Avnish Sandhu, Teena Chopra, Erin Goldman, Jennifer LeRose, Ashwin Ganesan
2020 Infection control and hospital epidemiology  
Influenza causes a high burden of disease in the United States, with an estimate of 960,000 hospitalizations in the 2017–2018 flu season. Traditional flu diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests have a longer (24 hours or more) turnaround time that may lead to an increase in unnecessary inpatient admissions during peak influenza season. A new point-of-care rapid PCR assays, Xpert Flu, is an FDA-approved PCR test that has a significant decrease in turnaround time (2 hours). The present
more » ... urs). The present study sought to understand the impact of implementing a new Xpert Flu test on the rate of inpatient admissions. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted to compare rates of inpatient admissions in patients tested with traditional flu PCR during the 2017–2018 flu season and the rapid flu PCR during the 2018–2019 flu season in a tertiary-care center in greater Detroit area. The center has 1 pediatric hospital (hospital A) and 3 adult hospitals (hospital B, C, D). Patients with influenza-like illness who presented to all 4 hospitals during 2 consecutive influenza seasons were analyzed. Results: In total, 20,923 patients were tested with either the rapid flu PCR or the traditional flu PCR. Among these, 14,124 patients (67.2%) were discharged from the emergency department and 6,844 (32.7%) were admitted. There was a significant decrease in inpatient admissions in the traditional flu PCR group compared to the rapid flu PCR group across all hospitals (49.56% vs 26.6% respectively; P < .001). As expected, a significant proportion of influenza testing was performed in the pediatric hospital, 10,513 (50.2%). A greater reduction (30% decrease in the rapid flu PCR group compared to the traditional flu PCR group) was observed in inpatient admissions in the pediatric hospital (Table 1) Conclusions: Rapid molecular influenza testing can significantly decrease inpatient admissions in a busy tertiary-care hospital, which can indirectly lead to improved patient quality with easy bed availability and less time spent in a private room with droplet precautions. Last but not the least, this testing method can certainly lead to lower healthcare costs.Funding: NoneDisclosures: None
doi:10.1017/ice.2020.830 fatcat:triqlqcevzhmhccioojxb5dvcu