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Patient screening and cleaning reduce MRSA rates at hospital

April 23, 2009
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MERCED, CA — The Mercy Medical Center has been at the forefront of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention through advanced screening and comprehensive cleaning, according to the Merced Sun-Star.
In 2007, and before a state law mandated it, Mercy screened all high risk patients for the bacteria and kept those infected in isolation to curb the spread of MRSA, the story stated.
According to the story, only four states, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have laws requiring hospitals to screen patients for MRSA, though legislation is in place in several other states.
Pat Harrison, director of infection prevention and control at Mercy, said: "We started screening early, and we''re ahead of the law and ahead of the game. We are seeing that environmental cleanliness is almost as important as hand washing."
On top of advanced screening, Mercy made changes to the way the hospital was cleaned and disinfected, the story noted.
Since the new cleaning rules were instated in October of 2008, MRSA infection rates at the hospital have dropped by 26 percent, the story added.
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