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Report: Simple Prevention Strategies Reduce MRSA Infections, Increase Patient Safety

Hand hygiene and other measures reduced infection by 95% (Oct. 24)

High compliance with hand hygiene and focusing on other simple infection-control measures on medical, surgical, and neuroscience intensive care units resulted in a 95% reduction in the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, according to research findings from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Most hospitals use vertical infection-prevention strategies, which focus on culturing for patients harboring organisms such as MRSA and on isolating those patients. This can cost millions of dollars annually and puts patients at risk for problems that can occur during isolation, the university says.

The research team at VCU took a different approach and employed a horizontal infection-prevention strategy of high compliance with hand washing that prevents not just MRSA infection, but all infections that are transmitted via contact.

In the study, experts trained in the prevention of infections conducted infection surveillance throughout medical, surgical, and neuroscience intensive care units for 9 years. The experts used Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveillance methods.

According to the university, the results achieved to date validate the team’s approach and will lead to further efforts to drive hand hygiene compliance even higher than the current compliance rate of 93%.

The new study was presented during IDWeek, held October 17–21 in San Diego, California.

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University, October 24, 2012.

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