Study Finds Wide Discrepancy in Multidrug Surveillance Practices in ICUs

Screening practices for multidrug-resistant organisms in intensive care units vary widely from hospital to hospital, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The P-NICE interdisciplinary research team from the Columbia University School of Nursing collected and analyzed survey responses from infection preventionists of 250 hospitals that participated in the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network in 2008.

Researchers found that participating NHSN ICUs routinely screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (59 percent). However, other potentially deadly MDROs were screened for far less frequently: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (22 percent), gram-negative rods (12 percent) and C. difficile (11 percent).

They also find variation in the frequency of written policies for these MDROs.

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