MRSA: VA Reduces Healthcare-Associated Rates, Viewpoint Questions Need for Contact Precautions

October 15, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Efforts by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have substantially reduced rates of healthcare-associated infection involving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among its patients, states an October 7, 2014, VA press release. According to VA, between 2007 and 2012, healthcare-associated MRSA infection rates dropped 72% (from 1.64 to 0.46 per 1,000 patient-days) among its intensive care unit (ICU) patients and 66% (from 0.47 to 0.16 per 1,000 patient-days) among its patients treated in non-ICU hospital units. "These results are striking," notes Carolyn Clancy, MD, VA's interim under secretary for health, in the press release. "Health care–associated infections are a major challenge throughout the health care industry, but we have found in VA that consistently applying some simple preventive strategies can make a very big difference, and thatdifference is being recognized."

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