Results of a pilot program to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in hospitals indicate behavioral changes can help stop the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, researchers announced.
A study conducted by the Plexus Institute in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used an approach to social and behavioral change known as positive deviance to encourage frontline medical staff and hospital leadership to implement a range of infection-reducing techniques. The study was funded by a grant through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Pioneer Portfolio program.
Plexus Institute released findings from the two-year study during the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of Americas annual meeting over the weekend. While the researchers analyzed MRSA rates at six participating hospitals from 2006 to 2008, three hospitals344-bed Billings (Mont.) Clinic; 599-bed Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia; and the 325-bed University of Louisville (Ky.) Hospitalwere included in the results reported at the conference.
The incidence of MRSA declined in a range of 26% to 62% from 2006 to 2008 at hospitals participating in the study, according to the report. The intervention methods included active surveillance on all patients, hand hygiene before and after every patient contact, isolation measures in patients colonized or infected with MRSA, and environmental cleaning. Coaches trained staff and executives on aspects of positive deviance, such as encouraging the dissemination of easily implemented preventive techniques, and fostering communication and team-based approaches.