Reducing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections

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Background: Hospital-acquired infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) now account for more than 60% of S. aureus infections in intensive care patients reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Media stories have raised the profile of this problem, and several states have moved toward legislative action regarding screening of hospital patients or mandatory reporting of infections. Guidelines from clinical expert organizations, including the CDC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), recommend the use of basic prevention practices to avoid transmission in the hospital setting, yet concerns persist that compliance with these practices is neither consistent nor reliable.

Intervention: The campaign's MRSA intervention recommends five key components of care. These are not intended to be an all-inclusive list but rather have been recommended by experts as the minimum necessary components: (1) hand hygiene, (2) decontamination of the environment and equipment, (3) active surveillance, (4) contact precautions for infected and colonized patients, and (5) device bundles (central line bundle and ventilator bundle).

Conclusion: The IHI's 5 Million Lives Campaign considers all hospital-acquired infections as harm to patients, and reduction of MRSA is one of the areas of focus.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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