Thursday, January 09, 2014 'Simple' Measures Reduce MRSA Rates in Long-Term Care Facilities Adherence to "a simple bundle of infection prevention and control strategies" has significantly reduced the incidence of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in Veterans Administration (VA) long-term care facilities. According to a press release (.pdf) from the American Journal of Infection Control, a study published this month reveals that the 133 facilities studied experienced a 36% overall decrease in MRSA infections, despite an overall rise in admissions of individuals with MRSA colonizations. The study was conducted over the span of 42 months. The decrease was attributed to the protocols outlined in the VA's MRSA Prevention Initiative (.pdf), an approach that involves patient screening, use of gowns and gloves, hand hygiene, and "an institutional culture change focusing on individual responsibility for infection control," according to the press release. The prevention initiative also calls for the creation of a MRSA Prevention Coordinator at each facility. The prevention measures have already proven effective in acute care settings, and the new study indicates that they can be just as valuable in long-term facilities. Check out the APTA MRSA webpage for more information on the role of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in reducing these infections.