New Strategies Released to Combat MRSA in Hospitals

By on 7:27 AM

On June 11, 2014, a new set of guidelines aimed at reducing the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Steaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was released in the July publication of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

The strategies published were produced in a collaborative effort by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and The Joint Commission (TJC).

While the incidence of MRSA in the healthcare setting, particularly acute care hospitals, is slowly declining, the bacterium continues to be a common source of morbidity and mortality in institutionalized patients. These new guidelines provide additional strategies for prevention as the ultimate goal for healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) is "zero."

Prioritizing strategies as well as implementing and monitoring is critical to the success of reduction of multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) related incidents in the hospital and long-term care setting.

The following strategies are included:
  • Conduct MRSA risk assessments
  • Implement an alert system
  • Develop a MRSA monitoring program and track rates
  • Develop and sustain hand-hygiene programs and monitor compliance
  • Monitor compliance with contact precautions for MRSA-colonized and infected patients
  • Monitor compliance for proper cleaning and disinfection of the environment and patient care equipment
  • Educate healthcare workers, patients and families about MRSA
 For additional information relating to strategies for prevention of HAIs in acute care hospitals, contact infection control consultant ICCS.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.