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Infection Expert: Don't Rush to Change MRSA Protocols

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 31, 2013

Hospitals should continue to conduct routine risk assessments to determine how well their infection control strategies are working before rushing to adopt a highly touted and possibly costly new protocol, says a member of the board of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

The report that an antibiotic ointment and special soap kill more MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) bacteria in intensive care units than screening and isolating patients found positive may come as a shock to hospital infection control chiefs, says a representative of a national association of infection preventionists.

"This was a great study, very large and robust, with lots of hospitals," says Marc-Oliver Wright, MT, corporate director of infection control for the four-hospital NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL, and a member of the board of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. "I'm sure this is landing like a small bomb in my state as well.

I'd be surprised if there's any responsible organization in this country that isn't looking at this article and asking themselves the question, 'should we change our practice,'" he says.

"But to be honest, the last thing I would want is for people to rush out and modify their practices, or create new legislative mandates based on one paper," Wright says.

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