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CDC Analysis Finds Unique Social and Behavior Intervention Helps Reduce MRSA Rates Up to 62% in Study Hospitals
Date:3/23/2009

'Positive Deviance' Efforts Turn the Tide on Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

PRINCETON, N.J., March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Plexus Institute (Plexus) today announce results from an analysis of a multifaceted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention program that employed positive deviance (PD), a novel approach to social and behavioral change, to trigger significant reductions in MRSA incidence ranging from 26 to 62 percent at participating hospitals. In addition, as MRSA rates dropped, the hospitals saw a decline in the proportion of Staphylococcus aureus infections caused by methicillin-resistant bacteria, signifying that hospitals can make headway in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs.

"Reports of successful multicenter interventions to reduce endemic antimicrobial resistance problems among U.S. hospitals are extremely rare," says John A. Jernigan, MD, MS, an epidemiologist at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and part of the CDC team that conducted the analysis. "These extremely encouraging findings add to a growing body of evidence that hospitals can make a difference in their endemic MRSA rates, and further might be able to improve the chances that infected patients have the best possible treatment options available. It shows that hospitals can make an important difference in antimicrobial resistance even at a time when the availability of new antibiotics has stagnated."

CDC's analysis was presented at a special late-breaker session during the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's 19th Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday, March 21.

In 2006, Plexus, in collaboration with the Positive Deviance Initiative and the CDC, began its MRSA prevention program to examine the effect of using PD in hospitals. PD is based on the premise that, in every organization
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SOURCE The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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