Updated guidance on the diagnosis and reporting of Clostridium difficile
Best practice, Standard Operating Procedures
This revised guidance to healthcare providers identifies which two types of tests, which when used in combination, will deliver the most accurate results for C. difficile infection testing. The new guidance reflects the results of scientific research, which assessed the accuracy and applicability of various types of testing kits for C. difficile currently in use in the NHS. The purpose of the revised guidance is to strengthen the C. difficile testing, diagnosing and reporting arrangements. The guidance includes a testing algorithm that provides a step-by-step means of optimising performance, with the ability to clinically categorise patients with much greater accuracy. It sets out: (a) who should be tested and the type of samples that should be taken; (b) the types of tests that should be used for detecting infections; and (c) what healthcare providers should do, depending on the outcome of the tests.