As of May 22, 2022 the C. difficile test order will have required questions to ensure the patient is appropriate for testing. Only providers can use this order at this time, and the nurse-driven protocol for C. difficile testing will be retired.
If your patient does not meet IDSA/SHEA criteria for C. difficile testing according to the documentation in the patient’s chart on laxatives and previous tests, you will be prompted to remove the order. If the ordering provider believes that the patient has an exceptional reason to proceed with testing, they will be directed to seek approval from the Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program via myUNC Health Directory. You can view slides showing the new Epic@UNC ordering views.
Testing for C. difficile when not indicated can harm patients. Some patients are colonized with C. difficile but do not have active infections. Testing a patient without symptoms may result in unnecessary antibiotics and side effects, avoidable isolation precautions, higher healthcare costs, and increased lengths of stay. See an Infographic Reminder of Key Points.