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SHEA Urges Increased Focus on Preventing Superbugs


March 14, 2019

On the heels of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that declines in superbugs have in leveled off in U.S. hospitals, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recommends that facilities play closer attention to infection prevention. The report found that progress against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections has slowed in hospitals, while methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) is increasing in communities.

“The report highlights the critical impact made by dedicated healthcare epidemiologists working with their hospital and health system partners to protect patients over the last decade. It also shows that there is more work to be done,” said SHEA President Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, in a release. “For MRSA and MSSA, no single prevention approach works in all situations. Combination, or bundled, interventions are usually the best approach. Which strategies will have the biggest impact may depend on the local context. SHEA urges expanded funding support for research into what interventions are most effective in what settings, so that infection prevention programs can continue to reduce these infections in patients across healthcare settings.”

SHEA’s recommendations to prevent the spread of HAIs include:

  • Conduct an MRSA risk assessment
  • Implement an MRSA monitoring program and track rates
  • Ensure compliance with hand hygiene recommendations
  • Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of equipment and the environment
  • Educate healthcare personnel, patients, and families about MRSA
  • Implement an alert system

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