Wide Variation in Screening for Multidrug Organisms in ICUs

While MRSA is routinely screened for, screening for other resistant organisms lags behind

FRIDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The adoption of multidrug resistant organism (MDRO) screening and infection control interventions in intensive care units (ICUs) varies widely, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Monika Pogorzelska, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City, and colleagues surveyed 441 infection control directors to describe how screening and infection control policies aimed at MDROs in ICUs are being implemented around the country.

Among the 413 ICUs from 250 hospitals who responded to the survey, the researchers found that 59 percent of ICUs were routinely screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; 22 percent were screened for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus; 12 percent were screened for multidrug-resistant, gram-negative rods; and 11 percent were screened for Clostridium difficile. Overall, 40 percent of ICUs had policies in place to screen all admissions for any MDRO, 27 percent screened periodically, 31 percent utilized presumptive isolation/contact precautions pending a screen, and 42 percent grouped colonized patients together. Independent predictors of the presence and implementation of different interventions included mandatory reporting and teaching status.

"There is significant variation in adoption of screening and infection control interventions aimed at MDRO and Clostridium difficile in National Healthcare Safety Network ICUs," the authors write. "Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to identify additional factors that foster adoption of these interventions."

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