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To assess the impact of an institution-wide infection control education program on the rate of transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
A 472-bed, urban, university-affiliated hospital.
During the period March-May 2004, all hospital staff completed a mandatory infection control education program, including the receipt of hospital-specific MRSA data and case-based practice with additional precautions.
The rate of nosocomial MRSA acquisition was calculated as the number of cases of nosocomial MRSA acquisition per 100 days that a person with MRSA colonization or infection detected at admission is present in the hospital (“admission MRSA” exposure-days) for 3 time periods: June 2002-February 2003 (before the Toronto outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS]), June 2003-February 2004 (after the outbreak of SARS), and June 2004-February 2005 (after education). A case of nosocomial acquisition of MRSA colonization or infection represented a patient first identified as colonized or infected more than 72 hours after admission or at admission after a previous hospitalization.
The rate of nosocomial acquisition of MRSA colonization or infection was 8.8 cases per 100 admission MRSA exposure-days for the period before SARS, 3.8 cases per 100 admission MRSA exposure-days for the period after SARS (P < .001 for before SARS vs after SARS), and 1.9 cases per 100 admission MRSA exposure-days for the period after education (P = .02 for after education vs before education). The volume of alcohol-based handrub purchased was apparently stable, with 4,010 L during fiscal year 2003-2004 (April 2003-March 2004) compared with 3,780 L during fiscal year 2004—2005. The observed rate of compliance with hand washing did not change significantly (40.9% during education vs 44.2% after education; P = .23). The total number of patients screened for MRSA colonization was not different in the 3 periods.
The rate of nosocomial acquisition of MRSA colonization or infection decreased after SARS and was further reduced in association with a hospital-wide education program.
To determine Canadian emergency physicians’ estimates regarding the safety and efficiency of chest discomfort management in their emergency department (ED), and their attitudes toward and perception of the need for a chest discomfort clinical prediction rule that identifies very low risk patients who are safe to discharge after a brief ED assessment.
300 members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) were randomly selected to receive a confidential mail survey, which invited them to provide information on current disposition of patients with chest discomfort and their opinions regarding the value of a clinical prediction rule to identify patients with chest discomfort who are safe to discharge after a brief (~2 hour) assessment.
Of the 300 physicians selected, 288 were eligible for the survey and 235 (82%) responded. Only 5% follow discharged patients to measure safe practice. Overall, 165 (70%) felt the proposed prediction rule would be very useful and 43 (18%) felt it would be useful. Almost all (94%) believed a prediction rule would be useful if it identified patients safe for discharge without increasing the current rate of missed acute myocardial infarction (estimated at 2%). Most respondents (59%) believed that a clinical prediction rule should suggest a course of action, while 30% felt it should convey a probability of disease.
Canadian emergency physicians support the concept of a clinical prediction rule for the early discharge of patients with chest discomfort. Most believe that such a rule would be useful if it identified patients who are safe for discharge after a brief assessment, while maintaining current levels of safety. Future research should be aimed at deriving a clinical prediction rule to identify low risk patients who can be safely discharged after a limited emergency department evaluation.
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