Health Leaders Media has reported that daily implementation of a practice known as universal decolonization reduced bloodstream infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), by 44 percent in a recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study involved 75,000 patients in 74 adult ICU’s across 16 states and examined three infection control approaches:

  • Screening all patients and isolating MRSA carriers
  • Performing targeted decolonization after screening
  • Universal decolonization.

Prior to this study, the efficiency of universal decolonization, a simple approach in which antimicrobial soap and nasal swabs are used daily on patients, had not been established making it a seldom used procedure in most hospitals.  Researchers suspect that the method’s newly proven success will motivate more ICUs to begin utilizing the approach.

One of the the study’s researchers, Ed Septimus, who is also the medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at Hospital Corporation of America, said universal decolonization will be implemented at nearly all HCA-affiliated adult ICUs in early 2013. He added that the study involved mostly HCA facilities.

To learn more about the study, Randomized Evaluation of Decolonization Verses Universal Clearance to Eliminate MRSAclick here.