Faculty study intestinal infection in Texas hospitals

July 13, 2011

Thomas Miller, Ph.D.

Thomas Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Tiffany Radcliff, Ph.D., associate professor, at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, are conducting a study of the incidence and costs of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Texas hospitals from 2000–2009.

CDI is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients and increases health care costs because of additional hospitalizations, extended hospitalizations, re-hospitalizations, and additional laboratory tests and medications. Although there have been several studies of the cost of CDI in the United States, this will be the first 10-year study of incidence and costs in Texas hospitals.

Tiffany Radcliff, Ph.D.

“This is an exciting opportunity to examine the more than 146,000 hospital discharges in Texas over the 10-year period for patients with CDI and to understand better the demographic and clinical characteristics of these patients, as well as the additional costs associated with their treatment in Texas hospitals,” Dr. Miller said. “The results should support the use of additional resources for CDI prevention and control.”

The eight-month study is being funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell