Study: Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance Reduces MRSA, Saves Money

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Increasing hand hygiene compliance in a children's hospital neonatal intensive care unit reduced methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus acquisition 48 percent, leading to a savings of $66,397 in hospital charges per month, according to a study in American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers conducted a failure mode effectiveness analysis to identify barriers in hand hygiene compliance in a children's hospital and implemented improvement measures. The overall compliance rate in a NICU began at 50.3 percent from July 2008 to September 2008, and increased to 84 percent after the intervention, from January 2009 to September 2011. Sustaining an 80 percent-plus hand hygiene compliance rate was associated with a 48 percent additional reduction in MRSA acquisition "in a unit that had comprehensive MRSA prevention measures," according to the study.

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This reduction translated into a prevention of 1.3 MRSA acquisitions per month and a savings of 11.6 NICU days and $66,397 per month.

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