Hospitals achieve better infection control when working together

Hospitals who collaborate on infection control achieve better results than those who do not, according to a study in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers used a simulation model to explore the effects of hospitals’ use of screening and contact precautions for MRSA in Orange County, California.  Virtual patients testing positive or negative for MRSA were admitted to Orange County hospitals at rates obtained from actual hospital records.  The model then returned some virtual patients to the community and others to a different hospital within Orange County.  Key findings include:

  • Implementation of surveillance and contact precautions at one hospital in the county decreased MRSA prevalence in that hospital by 11.27 percent, and also decreased MRSA prevalence in other hospitals in the county that had not implemented the intervention by .27%
  • When all hospitals implemented surveillance and contact precautions at a 75% compliance rate, MRSA prevalence rates dropped even more; by 3.85 percent for acute care hospitals, and by 12.13 percent for long term care hospitals.

The authors conclude that collaborative infection control initiatives could help all hospitals achieve better infection control.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, October 11, 2012; Health Affairs, http://content.healthaffairs.org/, October 2012)