The Question

Are oral vancomycin sales a useful marker for Clostridium difficile activity and what historical changes in the epidemiology of CDI are associated with changes in oral vancomycin prescribing?

What we found

A statistically significant and positive association between the number of oral vancomycin prescriptions and the number of CDI cases was determined.  This indicated that CDI cases are associated with a simultaneous increase in oral vancomycin use.

Why it matters

A change in prescribing oral vancomycin can be viewed as a possible signal for a change in practice and/or possibly a change in the epidemiology of C. difficile.