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To evaluate the impact of serial interventions on the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Longitudinal observational study before and after interventions.
The Alfred Hospital is a 350-bed tertiary referral hospital with a 35-bed intensive care unit (ICU).
A series of interventions including the introduction of an antimicrobial hand-hygiene gel to the intensive care unit and a hospitalwide MRSA surveillance feedback program that used statistical process control charts but not active surveillance cultures.
Serial interventions were introduced between January 2003 and May 2006. The incidence and rates of new patients colonized or infected with MRSA and episodes of MRSA bacteremia in the intensive care unit and hospitalwide were compared between the preintervention and intervention periods. Segmented regression analysis was used to calculate the percentage reduction in new patients with MRSA and in episodes of MRSA bacteremia hospitalwide in the intervention period.
The rate of new patients with MRSA in the ICU was 6.7 cases per 100 patient admissions in the intervention period, compared with 9.3 cases per 100 patient admissions in the preintervention period (P = .047). The hospitalwide rate of new patients with MRSA was 1.7 cases per 100 patient admissions in the intervention period, compared with 3.0 cases per 100 patient admissions in the preintervention period (P < .001). By use of segmented regression analysis, the maximum and conservative estimates for percentage reduction in the rate of new patients with MRSA were 79.5% and 42.0%, respectively, and the maximum and conservative estimates for percentage reduction in the rate of episodes of MRSA bacteremia were 87.4% and 39.0%, respectively.
A sustained reduction in the number of new patients with MRSA colonization or infection has been demonstrated using minimal resources and a limited number of interventions.
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