Journal Article

Look before You Leap: Active Surveillance for Multidrug-Resistant Organisms

Robert A. Weinstein, Daniel J. Diekema and Michael B. Edmond

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 8, pages 1101-1107
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/512820
Look before You Leap: Active Surveillance for Multidrug-Resistant Organisms

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Hospitals in the United States are under increasing pressure to perform active surveillance cultures for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) among newly admitted patients. Results of such cultures can then be used to direct contact precautions to prevent transmission of MRSA and VRE in the health care setting. However, using active surveillance cultures to expand contact precautions is a complicated and resource-intensive intervention that has the potential for several unintended adverse consequences. Therefore, careful forethought and preparation should precede the institution of any active surveillance culture program. We review the following important steps that should be performed when planning any such intervention: preparing the laboratory and reducing the turnaround time for screening tests, monitoring and optimizing the intervention of instituting contact precautions, monitoring and ameliorating the known adverse effects of contact precautions, and measuring important outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of a program of active surveillance cultures and contact precautions.

Journal Article.  4334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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