In the Netherlands a successful MRSA Search and Destroy policy is applied in healthcare institutes. We determined the effect of an adjustment in the MRSA Search and Destroy policy for patients in the outpatient clinic on the MRSA transmission to health care workers (HCW).


In June 2008 an adjustment in the policy for outpatients was introduced in a large teaching hospital. Following this adjustment MRSA positive patients and patients at risk could be seen and treated applying general precautions, without additional protective measures. Also, disinfection of the room after the patient had left was abandoned. To monitor the effect of this policy on the transmission of MRSA all physicians and health care workers of the outpatient clinic were screened for MRSA carriage repeatedly.

Before the introduction of the adjusted policy all physicians and HCW of the outpatient clinic were screened (=0-measurement, n = 1,073). None of them was found to be MRSA positive. After introduction of the policy in June 2008 the screening was repeated in October 2008 (n = 1,170) and April 2009 (n = 1,128). In April 2009 one health care worker was MRSA positive resulting in a mean prevalence of 0.09%. This is lower than the known prevalence in HCW. The health care worker was colonized with the livestock-related Spa type t011. As far as we could verify, no patients with this Spa-type had been cared for by the health care worker.

The adjusted MRSA policy did not lead to detectable transmission of MRSA to HCW and was associated with less disturbances in the work flow.

Authors: Miranda ML van Rijen and Jan AJW Kluytmans
Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2014 3:3.    

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