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Patients gain when hospitals work together on infection control

U.S. News & World Report, October 10, 2012

Infection-control cooperation and coordination among hospitals in the same region helps all of them reduce their risk of outbreaks, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data on methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections at all 29 hospitals in Orange County, CA, and developed a computer simulation to assess "contact isolation," a method used to limit the spread of MRSA. When all hospitals implemented contact isolation at the same time with a 75 percent compliance rate, MRSA prevalence decreased an extra 3.85 percent over what each hospital could have achieved on its own, according to the study, which was published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs. Contact isolation at one hospital not only decreased MRSA at that hospital, but also at nearby hospitals that did not implement the prevention measure, the investigators found.