Assessment of current methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus screening protocols and outcomes at an academic medical center.
Am J Infect Control. 2019 Mar 16;:
Authors: Richards V, Tremblay E
BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for many hospital-associated infections. Both MRSA-colonized and MRSA-infected patients must be isolated on contact precautions per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. This study evaluates the current practice for removing MRSA-colonized patients from contact precautions and proposes a new protocol to decrease inconsistencies with screening methodologies.
METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review of MRSA screening swabs collected at an academic medical center between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2017. Of those patients with MRSA screening swabs, extra-nasal cultures were also evaluated for MRSA infection. Screening swabs were analyzed for appropriateness of order and timing between swabs and active infections. Analysis of variance and the χ² tests were used to determine significance between groups.
RESULTS: This study included 8,310 patients with a combined total of 11,601 nasal swabs. Significantly more (P = .0159) patients with 2 negative nasal swabs returned with a recurrent MRSA infection or colonization than those who had 3 consecutive negative nasal swabs (27.8% vs 17.0%, respectively). Additionally, 47.8% of patients only had 1 appropriately ordered negative nasal swab, indicating that a nurse-driven protocol may be more effective in obtaining the full series of samples required to remove contact precautions.
CONCLUSIONS: The current practice for removing a patient from contact precautions for MRSA is insufficient. The number of negative nasal swabs required should be increased from 2 to 3 and a decolonization protocol should be implemented.
PMID: 30885410 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]