- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

Simple best practices can drastically reduce MRSA infections

No matter the size or specialty of your healthcare facility, MRSA prevention is probably a chief concern, particularly MRSA that could be transmitted with then facility.

Fortunately, the solution to preventing MRSA transmission is based on widely published, evidence-based best practices. Furthermore, researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center have proven that rigorous adherence to these methods will reduce MRSA infections.

A study presented at the Fifth Deccenial International Conference on Healthcare-Association Infections showed [1] that an increasingly aggressive hand hygiene program, a central line bundle [2], a ventilator bundle [3], and chlorhexidine bathing of all adult ICU patients, along with compliance monitoring and feedback could help reduce MRSA-related infections in within the facility.

The medical center also instituted “bare below the elbows,” recommendations that prevented staff members from wearing long sleeves or jewelry that could harbor infectious organisms.

Virginia Commonwealth implemented these best practices in 2004, according to a press release [4], and saw a 91% reduction in MRSA central-line bloodstream infections, a 62% reduction in MRSA catheter associated urinary tract infections, and a 92% reduction in MRSA ventilator associated pneumonia.

The main conclusion of the study was that strict adherence to these best practice are sufficient in preventing MRSA, without resorting to active surveillance programs, that can be costly.

“We recommend interventions that focus broadly on reducing all HAIs via compliance with optimal infection control practices rather than a resource intensive strategy of questionable effectiveness associated with harm, and targeted against a single pathogen that accounts for a small fraction of HAIs,” researchers wrote in the conclusion of the study.