Veterans Affairs initiative to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Health care–associated infections remain one of the most common preventable adverse events in hospitals, despite some successes at reducing rates of specific infections. Preventing infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains a difficult problem, as studies of prevention techniques have reached conflicting results. This large-scale study of an MRSA prevention bundle implemented in the Veterans Affairs system found that a multifaceted approach including universal screening, contact isolation precautions, and an emphasis on infection control as part of safety culture resulted in a significant reduction in MRSA infections in both intensive care and ward patients. Although the overall incidence of hospital-acquired MRSA infections has been decreasing nationwide, the effects of these infections can be devastating—as vividly described in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.