MDRO screening practices vary widely

A study in the Journal of Infection Control found that screening practices for multi-drug resistant organisms in the ICU setting varies widely among hospitals in the U.S. 

For the study, researchers surveyed National Healthcare Safety Network hospitals in 2008.  Key findings include:

  • 59% of respondents reported routinely screening ICU patients for MRSA
  • 22% screened for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus
  • 12% screened for multidrug-resistant, gram-negative rods
  • 11% screened for Clostridium difficile
  • 40% reported that it is ICU policy to screen all patients for MDRO; 27% screened periodically
  • 31% had a policy of using isolation/contact precautions pending a screen
  • Teaching hospitals, and hospitals in states with mandatory MDRO reporting policies were more likely to screen all patients for MDROs

The authors note that more research is needed to identify factors that influence MRDO screening, and on how best to promote compliance.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, October 1, 2012; Journal of Infection Control,, October 2012)