Journal Article

Safety of patients isolated for infection control.

Stelfox HT; Bates DW; Redelmeier DA.

This study discovered that patients isolated for colonization or infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus suffered more preventable adverse events, less satisfaction with care, and less documentation for their care, but no difference in mortality compared to a control group. Examples of the reported differences in care quality included absence of accurately recorded vital signs, missing daily physician progress notes, and less delivery of disease-specific standards for heart failure management. While safety precautions and isolation of selected patients certainly reduce the transmission of communicable infections, a potential patient safety issue results from the care these patients receive once isolated—an unintended adverse consequence.