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We sought to identify hospital characteristics associated with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carriage among inpatients.
Prospective cohort study.
Orange County, California.
Thirty hospitals in a single county.
We collected clinical MRSA isolates from inpatients in 30 of 31 hospitals in Orange County, California, from October 2008 through April 2010. We characterized isolates by spa typing to identify CA-MRSA strains. Using California's mandatory hospitalization data set, we identified hospital-level predictors of CA-MRSA isolation.
CA-MRSA strains represented 1,033 (46%) of 2,246 of MRSA isolates. By hospital, the median percentage of CA-MRSA isolates was 46% (range, 14%–81%). In multivariate models, CA-MRSA isolation was associated with smaller hospitals (odds ratio [OR], 0.97, or 3% decreased odds of CA-MRSA isolation per 1,000 annual admissions; P<.001), hospitals with more Medicaid-insured patients (OR, 1.2; P = .002), and hospitals with more patients with low comorbidity scores (OR, 1.3; P< .001). Results were similar when restricted to isolates from patients with hospital-onset infection.
Among 30 hospitals, CA-MRSA comprised nearly half of MRSA isolates. There was substantial variability in CA-MRSA penetration across hospitals, with more CA-MRSA in smaller hospitals with healthier but socially disadvantaged patient populations. Additional research is needed to determine whether infection control strategies can be successful in targeting CA-MRSA influx.
We calculated hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HO-MRSA) rates for Orange County, California, hospitals using survey and state data. Numerators were variably defined as HO-MRSA occurring more than 48 hours (37%), more than 2 days (30%), and more than 3 days (33%) postadmission. Survey-reported denominators differed from state-reported patient-days. Numerator and denominator choices substantially impacted HO-MRSA rates.
Assessments of infectious disease spread in hospitals seldom account for interfacility patient sharing. This is particularly important for pathogens with prolonged incubation periods or carrier states.
We quantified patient sharing among all 32 hospitals in Orange County (OC), California, using hospital discharge data. Same-day transfers between hospitals were considered “direct” transfers, and events in which patients were shared between hospitals after an intervening stay at home or elsewhere were considered “indirect” patient-sharing events. We assessed the frequency of readmissions to another OC hospital within various time points from discharge and examined interhospital sharing of patients with Clostridium difficile infection.
In 2005, OC hospitals had 319,918 admissions. Twenty-nine percent of patients were admitted at least twice, with a median interval between discharge and readmission of 53 days. Of the patients with 2 or more admissions, 75% were admitted to more than 1 hospital. Ninety-four percent of interhospital patient sharing occurred indirectly. When we used 10 shared patients as a measure of potential interhospital exposure, 6 (19%) of 32 hospitals “exposed” more than 50% of all OC hospitals within 6 months, and 17 (53%) exposed more than 50% within 12 months. Hospitals shared 1 or more patient with a median of 28 other hospitals. When we evaluated patients with C. difficile infection, 25% were readmitted within 12 weeks; 41% were readmitted to different hospitals, and less than 30% of these readmissions were direct transfers.
In a large metropolitan county, interhospital patient sharing was a potential avenue for transmission of infectious agents. Indirect sharing with an intervening stay at home or elsewhere composed the bulk of potential exposures and occurred unbeknownst to hospitals.
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