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To evaluate the efficacy of patient and staff cohorting to control vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) at an Indianapolis community hospital.
To interrupt transmission of VRE, a VRE point-prevalence survey of hospital inpatients was conducted, and VRE-infected or -colonized patients were cohorted on a single ward with dedicated nursing staff and patient-care equipment. To assess the impact of the intervention, staff compliance with contact isolation procedures was observed, and the VRE point-prevalence survey was repeated 2 months after the cohort ward was established.
Following the establishment of the cohort ward, VRE prevalence among all hospitalized inpatients decreased from 8.1% to 4.7% (25 positive cultures among 310 patients compared to 13 positive cultures among 276 patients, P=.14); VRE prevalence among patients whose VRE status was unknown before cultures were obtained decreased from 5.9% to 0.8% (18 positive cultures among 303 patients compared to 2 positive cultures among 262 patients, P=.002); and observed staff-patient interactions compliant with published isolation recommendations increased (5 [22%] of 23 interactions compared to 36 [88%] of 41 interactions, P<.0001).
Our data suggest that, in hospitals with endemic VRE or continued VRE transmission despite implementation of contact isolation measures, establishing a VRE cohort ward may be a practical and effective method to improve compliance with infection control measures and thereby to control epidemic or endemic VRE transmission.
To describe the epidemiology of measles in medical settings and to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the 1989 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines for measles immunization in healthcare workers (HCWs).
Confirmed cases of measles reported in Clark County, Washington, from March 14 to June 2,1996, were analyzed for characteristics of cases occurring in medical settings. A questionnaire was used to assess employee immunization (95% response rate).
Setting and Participants:
Reported measles cases and HCWs at community hospitals, primary-care medical facilities, a health-maintenance organization, and a multispecialty group practice.
Of 31 cases of measles, 8 (26%) occurred in HCWs, and 5 (16%) occurred in patients or visitors to medical facilities. Cases of measles occurred in HCWs who were not required to have proof of measles immunity as defined by the 1989 ACIP guidelines. The relative risk of measles in HCWs compared to Clark County adults was 18.6 (95% confidence interval, 7.4-45.8; P<.001).
A survey of medical facilities revealed that 47% had an employee measles immunization policy; only 21% met ACIP recommendations and enforced their policies.
HCWs were at higher risk of measles than the adult population. Transmission of measles in medical settings was related to both deficiencies in, and lack of implementation of, the ACIP guidelines.