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Study finds MRSA screening saves hospitals money
Date:1/27/2011

Washington, DC, January 27, 2011 Screening patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) produces cost savings for the whole hospital, according to a study that used a statistical simulation model published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Conducted by a team of researchers at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a 279-bed teaching hospital and outpatient facility, the goal of the study was to determine the costs per hospital admission of screening ICU patients for MRSA and isolating patients who tested positive. They found that even under the most conservative assumptions the screening would be cost-neutral if early detection of MRSA would lead to a reduced rate of infection and transmission within the hospital. Under optimal assumptions, screening could result in savings of almost $500 per hospital admission.

The research was led by John A. Nyman, PhD, a health economist at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. It assessed the possible impact and cost effectiveness of active detection of MRSA and isolation on frequency of MRSA infections in the ICUs and hospital-wide.

"This study presents evidence of the cost savings from implementing a program that targets the ICU population but that has an effect that is hospital-wide," according to Dr. Nyman and his colleagues. "Although we find that this program pays for itself through the MRSA infections prevented, it is important that hospitals also consider how this type of program fits into their overall institutional, infection-prevention programs and realize that this intervention is only one of many alternative interventions that are designed to prevent healthcare-associated infections."

The authors contend that this approach could complement other st
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Contact: Liz Garman
egarman@apic.org
202-454-2604
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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