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Routinely screen & culture high-risk patients for MRSA

Health Factors: Quality of Care
Decision Makers: Healthcare Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 1-9% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other multidrug resistant organisms have become a growing concern.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced incidence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Evidence of Effectiveness

Clancy 2006 study finds that, even in a setting of increasing community-associated MRSA, active MRSA screening as part of a multi-factorial intervention targeted to high-risk units may be an effective and cost-avoidant strategy for achieving a sustained decrease of MRSA infections throughout the hospital. Shitrit 2006 finds that active surveillance culture is important for identifying hidden reservoirs of MRSA. As well, contact isolation can prevent new colonization and infection and lead to a significant reduction of morbidity and healthcare costs. DerGurahian 2007 notes that screening has been shown to reduce infection rates, and provides examples of state-led efforts in this regard.


United States

Six states and New York City have some level of activities regarding MRSA screening.

Citations - Evidence

Clancy 2006* - Clancy M, Graepler A, Wilson M, et al. Active screening in high-risk units is an effective and cost-avoidant method to reduce the rate of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection in the hospital. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2006;27(10):1009-17. Accessed on December 10, 2015
DerGurahian 2007 - DerGurahian J. Ill to test patients for MRSA. Initiative has other states following quickly behind. Modern Healthcare. 2007; 37(34):17. Accessed on December 10, 2015
Shitrit 2006* - Shitrit P, Gottesman BS, Katzir M, et al. Active surveillance for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) decreases the incidence of MRSA bacteremia. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2006;27(10):1004-8. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Page Last Updated

January 1, 2011

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