October 16, 2012
1 min read

Researchers see inconsistencies in how hospital-based infections are managed

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Hospitals differed widely in their methods of screening for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurea and other multidrug-resistant organisms in intensive care units, according to recent research.

“It seems prudent to isolate possibly infected patients admitted to the ICU [intensive care unit] until lab tests come back giving an ‘all clear,’” lead author Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz, PhD, MPH, stated in a press release from Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Of the 250 hospitals she and colleagues surveyed, 59% routinely used screening procedures for methicillin-resistant S. aurea (MRSA), according to the abstract. They screened for other multidrug-resistant organisms (MRDOs), such as vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus and multidrug-resistant gram-negative rods, 22% and 12% of the time, respectively.

The research showed 98% of hospitals had a policy for isolating patients after a positive culture, yet 40% of infection control directors instructed the hospital staff to screen all patients for MDROs, according to the abstract. Additionally, 27% of hospitals surveyed screened for MDROs periodically, while 31% of hospitals had a policy that outlined isolation or taking precaution prior to a positive culture.


A larger infection control staff, mandatory reporting and electronic surveillance were associated with better adherence to policy, Pogorzelska-Maziarz and colleagues noted in the study. They also indicated in the abstract that the difference in screening procedures identified at these institutions may be due to differences in recommendations in the literature or a hospital infection control director’s interpretation of published research.


Pogorzelska-Maziarz M. Am J Infect Control. 2012; doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2012.03.014.

Disclosure: Pogorzelska-Maziarz has no relevant financial disclosures.