WASHINGTON — Legislation recently introduced in Congress would require all U.S. hospitals to screen patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and make MRSA rates available to the public, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA infects about 95,000 Americans per year and kills 19,000 of them.
The aim of the proposed legislation is to curb the spread of MRSA by identifying which patients need special handling and to allow patients to make health care decisions regarding which facilities they want to be treated in, the story stated.
House of Representatives Bill 2937 and Senate Bill 1305 would require hospitals to screen all patients for MRSA by 2014 and make that data accessible to the public, the story noted.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has found that only 29 percent of the infection control professionals it surveyed reported that their hospitals screened patients to identify those with MRSA.
The Veterans Health Administration adopted similar strategies at all of its 150 hospitals after a pilot program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resulted in a 70 percent reduction of MRSA infections in surgical units, the story added.
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