Publicly Reported Indicators
Methicillin - Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
As of December 30, 2008, all hospitals are required to publicly
report their MRSA rates on a quarterly basis.
The method for
calculating the MRSA bacteremia rate is as
Number of nosocomial patients with
laboratory identification of MRSA bacteremia x 1000
Total number of
What is MRSA
(Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)?
Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and
mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally S. aureus can cause an
infection. When S. aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is
called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
How is MRSA spread?
MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually
on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the caregiver's hands either
from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from
touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as
towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the
Hospital Associated/Nosocomial MRSA: The organism is considered hospital associated/nosocomial if we
detect the presence of MRSA 72 hours after admission and it is not likely that
the patient has been exposed to either bacteria before they were admitted to us.
It is important to monitor for these types of infections because we do
not want them to spread between patients or from patient to visitor. We call
this process of monitoring surveillance.
We check patients for MRSA by using sterile cotton
swabs and rubbing them on different places on their bodies. If a patient is at
high risk for one of these infections, we do the swab testing when these
patients are admitted and at other times during his or her hospital stay. These
swabs are sent for testing. We call this procedure, screening. If one of these
bacteria is found, we put control measures in place to prevent transmission to
other patients. If a patient has diarrhea a stool sample will be sent to detect
the toxin that is formed from the C. difficile bacteria.
What does it mean if a patient has one of
The presence of bacteria such as MRSA does not
necessarily mean that anyone has an infection. It does mean that a patient is
more at risk to get an infection, especially if that patient already has a
compromised immune system.
What special precautions are required for MRSA in
• Single room accommodation
(the door can remain open)
• A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by
everyone who cares for you
• A sign may be placed on your door to remind
others who enter your room about the special precautions
• The room and the
equipment used in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly
Everyone who leaves your room must clean their hands well
• You must clean
your hands before you leave your room
• Your activities outside your room
may be limited
family/visitors to the hospital?
Your family and visitors should not
assist other patients with their personal care as this may cause the germ to
spread. Visitors may be required to wear a long-sleeved gown and gloves while in
your room. Before leaving your room, visitors must remove the gloves and gown
and dispose of them in the garbage container and the linen hamper located in
your room. Then they must clean their hands.
Remind all staff and visitors to practice good hand
hygiene before and after they touch you. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate
proper hand hygiene techniques (15 seconds of soap and running water OR
waterless alcohol hand rub until hands are dry).
You need to
clean your hands:
• After using the bathroom
blowing your nose
• Before eating and drinking
• Before and after you
touch your dressing or wounds
• When your hands are visibly dirty (soiled)
• Before you leave your room
What will happen at
If you have MRSA at the time of discharge from hospital, there
is a small chance of spreading the germ to your family. We recommend you
practice the following:
• Everyone who might help you with your personal
hygiene or with going to the toilet should wash their hands after contact with
• Wash your hands before you make any food and before you eat. This
practice should be followed by everyone in the household.
• Wash your hands
well after using the toilet. If you share a bathroom, make sure others using
that bathroom wash their hands well afterwards.
• Clothing may be laundered
in the same manner as the rest of the household laundry.
• No special
cleaning of furniture or items (e.g. dishes) in the home is required.
Always tell your physician, paramedics, nurses or other care providers
that you have MRSA. This helps prevent spread to others.
more information, please speak to your Health Care Provider