Most California Hospitals Implementing Infection Control

Hospitals with certified infection control officer have lower rate of MRSA blood stream infections

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Most California hospitals implement some policies to improve infection control for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), primarily methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but few policies are associated with lower MDRO rates, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Monika Pogorzelska, Ph.D., M.P.H., and associates from the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City, analyzed 2010 survey data from 180 California hospitals to identify infection control policies, structural characteristics, and rates of MDRO.

The researchers found that 87 percent of the responding hospitals reported targeted MRSA screening on admission. Contact precautions were implemented by the majority of hospitals for patients with confirmed MDRO or Clostridium difficile. Implementation of presumptive isolation/contact precautions for patients with pending screens was less frequent. Few infection control policies correlated with reduced MDRO rates. There was a significantly lower rate of MRSA blood stream infections in hospitals with a board certified infection control officer.

"Although most California hospitals are involved in activities to decrease MDRO, there is variation in specific activities utilized with the most focus placed on MRSA," the authors write. "This study highlights the importance of certification and its significant impact on infection rates."

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