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Poll of Infection Prevention and Control Professionals Reveals MRSA Prevention Progress Six Months After National Survey
Date:12/10/2007

ls of the facility," said Denise Murphy, president of APIC and Vice President of Safety and Quality, and Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis. "Hospitals should commit the resources to conduct a thorough risk assessment of patient populations and implement viable strategies to prevent MRSA and other antimicrobial-resistant infections."

APIC guidelines for the elimination of MRSA transmission include a risk assessment to identify high-risk areas for MRSA within the hospital; surveillance program to outline activities and procedures to identify MRSA cases; adherence to CDC hand hygiene guidelines; use of contact precautions (e.g., gloves, gowns and separating MRSA patients from other patients); environmental and equipment cleaning and decontamination, especially items that are close to patients such as bedrails and bedside equipment, and targeted active surveillance cultures (testing of high-risk groups).

"What health care leaders need to understand is that these interventions represent pennies on the dollar compared to the costs of infections once they occur. Reducing these infections saves both lives and scarce resources," said Warye. "APIC will conduct a thorough, formal study with our members in six months, and at that time we expect to see many more facilities in compliance with national guidelines."

Published in the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the APIC MRSA Prevalence Study offers the most comprehensive understanding of MRSA to date. The study revealed that MRSA is significantly more widespread throughout health care facilities and across every state.

Findings demonstrate MRSA prevalence rates to be 46 in 1,000 patients, eight times higher than previous estimates. Of those, approximately 34/1,000 were infected while 12/1,000 patients were colonized. The APIC study was the first study to measure rates of both
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SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control andEpidemiology
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