A quality-improvement program implemented at 150 Veterans Affairs hospitals reduced rates of healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in both intensive-care unit and non-ICU settings, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Program lowers MRSA rates at VA hospitals: study
Looking at the period from October 2007 when the program was initiated through June 2010, the healthcare-associated ICU infection rate fell 62% to 0.62 infections per 1,000 patient days from 1.64 infections per 1,000 patient days. Outside of the ICU, the rate fell 45% to 0.26 infections per 1,000 patient days from 0.47 per 1,000 patient days.
The quality program implemented by the VA, identified as a “MRSA bundle,” consisted of “a universal nasal surveillance for MRSA, contact precautions for patients colonized or infected with MRSA, hand hygiene and a change in the institutional culture whereby infection control would become the responsibility of everyone who had contact with patients,” according to the study.
The program included all but three VA hospitals that were exempted from participation for undisclosed reasons.
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