Staying Ahead of Patient Safety with MRSA Infection Protocols

Floyd Memorial is committed to staying ahead of the curve on patient safety. As of November 2007, Floyd Memorial has taken the initiative to prevent the spread of MRSA antibiotic resistant infection in the hospital environment through screening protocols for high risk patients. While the spread of MRSA in the community among healthy people is a recent phenomenon, its existence in hospital settings among patients with long term illnesses, open wounds or recent antibiotic use is much more common. Since the Staph bacteria that MRSA originates from is carried by approximately 30 percent of the population, high-risk potential carriers have been identified for screening and subsequent treatment protocol should they test positive, to avoid the spread of MRSA at its source.

Joseph Bruckman, MD, medical director at Floyd Memorial, emphasized the importance of these new guidelines, “We are one of the first facilities in this area to institute screening and treatment protocols to proactively combat the spread of MRSA in the hospital setting. The government is headed toward mandating these practices nationwide, but we felt it was imperative to our patients’ health to institute them as soon as possible.”

Protocols include:

  • Screening all high-risk patients for MRSA staph bacteria, including total knee and total hip replacement surgery patients, thoracic surgery patients, open-heart surgery patients and all patients admitted to the intensive care unit.
  • Performing a simple nasal swab immediately upon admission and prior to any procedures taking place.
  • Isolation and treatment of patients who screen positive for MRSA with special antibiotics and cleansing treatments to eradicate the infection and avoid its spread to others when indicated.