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To determine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Canadian hospitals.
National point prevalence survey in November 2010.
Canadian acute care hospitals with at least 50 beds.
Adult inpatients colonized or infected with MRSA or VRE or with CDI.
The prevalence (per 100 inpatients) of MRSA, VRE, and CDI was determined. Associations between prevalence and institutional characteristics and infection control policies were evaluated.
One hundred seventy-six hospitals (65% of those eligible) participated. The median (range) prevalence rates for MRSA and VRE colonization or infection and CDI were 4.2% (0%–22.1%), 0.5% (0%–13.1%), and 0.9% (0%–8.6%), respectively. Median MRSA and VRE infection rates were low (0.3% and 0%, respectively). MRSA, VRE, and CDI were thought to have been healthcare associated in 79%, 96%, and 84% of cases, respectively. In multivariable analysis, routine use of a private room for colonized/infected patients was associated with lower median MRSA infection rate (prevalence ratio [PR], 0.44 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.22–0.88]) and VRE prevalence (PR, 0.26 [95% CI, 0.12–0.57]). Lower VRE rates were also associated with enhanced environmental cleaning (PR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.36–0.75]). Higher bed occupancy rates were associated with higher rates of CDI (PR, 1.02 [95% CI, 1.01–1.03]).
These data provide the first national prevalence estimates for MRSA, VRE, and CDI in Canadian hospitals. Certain infection prevention and control policies were found to be associated with prevalence and deserve further investigation.
To determine the effect of the rate and pattern of patient transfers among institutions within a single metropolitan area on the rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission among patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
A stochastic, discrete-time, Monte Carlo simulation was used to model the rate and spread of MRSA transmission among patients in medical institutions within a single metropolitan area. Admission, discharges, transfers, and nosocomial transmission were simulated with respect to different interinstitutional transfer strategies and various situational scenarios, such as outlier institutions with high transmission rates.
The simulation results indicated that transfer patterns and transfer rate changes do not affect nosocomial MRSA transmission. Outlier institutions with high transmission rates affect the systemwide rate of nosocomial infections differently, depending on institution type.
It is worth effort to understanding disease-transmission dynamics and interinstitutional transfer patterns for the management of recently introduced diseases or strains. Once endemic in a system, other strategies for transmission control need to be implemented.
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 the impact of the screening test, nursing workload, handwashing rates, and dependence of handwashing on risk level of patient visit on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission among hospitalized patients.
General medical ward.
Monte Carlo simulation was used to model MRSA transmission (median rate per 1,000 patient-days). Visits by healthcare workers (HCWs) to patients were simulated, and MRSA was assumed to be transmitted among patients via HCWs.
The transmission rate was reduced from 0.89 to 0.56 by the combination of increasing the sensitivity of the screening test from 80% to 99% and being able to report results in 1 day instead of 4 days. Reducing the patient-to-nurse ratio from 4.3 in the day and 6.8 at night to 3.8 and 5.7, respectively, reduced the number of nosocomial infections from 0.89 to 0.85; reducing the ratio to 1 and 1, respectively, further reduced the number of nosocomial infections to 0.32. Increases in handwashing rates by 0%, 10%, and 20% for high-risk visits yielded reductions in nosocomial infections similar to those yielded by increases in handwashing rates for all visits (0.89, 0.36, and 0.24, respectively). Screening all patients for MRSA at admission reduced the transmission rate to 0.81 per 1,000 patient-days from 1.37 if no patients were screened.
Within the ranges of parameters studied, the most effective strategies for reducing the rate of MRSA transmission were increasing the handwashing rates for visits involving contact with skin or bodily fluid and screening patients for MRSA at admission. (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2005;26:607- 615)
To obtain accurate data regarding the handwashing behavior and patterns of visits to patients by healthcare workers (HCWs).
All visits by HCWs to selected patient rooms were recorded for 3 days and 2 nights. Additionally, 5 nurses were observed for 1 day each and 2 nurses were observed for 1 night each. Nurses were observed for their entire shifts and all of their activities were recorded.
A general medical ward in a tertiary-care hospital.
Convenience samples of HCWs and patients.
Patients were visited every 25 minutes on average. Monitoring rooms and observing nurses resulted in similar rates of patient visits. The highest level of risk was contact with body fluids in 11% of visits and skin in 40% of visits. The overall rate of handwashing was 46%; however, the rate was higher for visits involving contact with body fluids (81%) and skin (61%). Nurses returned immediately to the same patient 45% of the time. The rate of handwashing was higher for the last of a series of visits to a patient's room (53% vs 30%, P < .0001).
Nurses adjusted their handwashing rates in accordance with the risk level of each visit. Monitoring patient rooms and observing nurses yielded similar estimates of patient visits and proportions of visits involving contact with skin or body fluids. Education programs about hand hygiene may be more effective if patterns of care and levels of risk are incorporated into recommendations.
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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