535 Impact of an Electronic Surveillance System for the follow-up of Methicilin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) positive Patients

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Grand Hall (Hyatt Regency Atlanta)
Hilde A. L. Jansens, MD , University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium
Frank Van Laer , University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium
Emiel Goovaerts , University Hospital Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium
Background: MRSA remains an important nosocomial problem and lowering the transmission of this pathogen in a hospital is very important. So follow-up of these MRSA patients is very important in reducing the probability of transmission.

Objective: To evaluate an electronic program for the surveillance of MRSA patients and the impact of this system on the incidence of MRSA in our hospital

Methods: From january 2007, members of the infection control team used a system were patients positive for MRSA were granted with an electronic code in the hospital administration system, so that on readmission the correct infection control prevention measures could be implemented. Codes between M1 and M6 were used to indicate if a patient needed to be isolated or not and screened or not. The codes which were used were dependent on whether or not the patient was MRSA positive in screening or clinical samples; whether or not the patient was a resident of a long-term care facility; whether the patient had a wound or not and whether the patient had more than 3 periods of MRSA carriage in the past. The incidence of MRSA was compared for 2 periods: january 2005-december 2006 and january 2007-october 2009.

Results: Before the program was implemented, the incidence of MRSA for the period between january 2005 and december 2006 was on average 2.15 per 1000 admissions. For the period between january 2007 and october 2009, after this electronic surveillance system was introduced, the incidence dropped to an average of 1.78 per 1000 admissions. The mean isolation days for MRSA dropped from an average of 17.15 days for the period from january 2005 until december 2006 to an average of 14.01 isolation days for the period from january 2007 untill october 2009 which gave a reduction of the medical costs associated with such isolation procedures.

Conclusions: Controlling the spread of MRSA in a hospital is essential and good follow-up is thus crucial in this infection control process. The status of MRSA positive patients and the follow-up of this status helps to control MRSA. Additionally a good follow-up system has a positive effect on the incidence rates in a hospital which reduces the workload and the extra costs due to isolation.