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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Universal surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 3 affiliated hospitals.

Robicsek A, Beaumont JL, Paule SM, et al. Annals of internal medicine. 2008;148:409-18.

Screening all hospitalized patients for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is widely advocated, but the effectiveness of this practice was called into question by a high-profile negative trial. In contrast, this study found significant reductions in both colonization rates and rates of hospital-acquired infection caused by MRSA after institution of a universal surveillance program. The difference between the results of these studies highlights the difficulty of interpreting and applying evidence from clinical trials to patient safety efforts, as discussed in a recent editorial.