Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers continued to decline 5 years after a national initiative began, a study found.
The study will appear in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, and was announced in a press release Oct. 29.
The MRSA Prevention Initiative, started in 2007, resulted in significant decreases in both the transmission of MRSA (17% for ICUs and 21% for non-ICUs) and health care-associated infection (HAI) rates within the hospitals (62% for ICUs, 45% for non-ICUs). It had been previously reported that in the first two years of initiative, both MRSA transmissions and HAIs continued to decrease in non-ICU settings (declining an additional 13.7% and 44.8%, respectively), while holding steady in ICUs.
The initiative includes screening every patient for MRSA, use of gowns and gloves when caring for patients colonized or infected with MRSA, hand hygiene, a focus on individual responsibility for infection control, and the creation of a MRSA Prevention Coordinator at each medical center.
Researchers wrote, “Detailed analysis showed that there were statistically significant declines in MRSA transmissions and MRSA HAIs in non-ICUs but not in the ICUs. The absence of statistically significant trends in the ICUs may be because MRSA transmission and MRSA HAI rates were low.”