Jackson Health had most MRSA infections in US for 2017

Miami-based Jackson Health System reported 61 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections for the year ending in June 2017, a higher tally than any other U.S. hospital, according to CMS data cited by the Miami Herald.

CMS assessed infection data for nearly 4,800 hospitals nationwide between July 2016 and June 2017. Of the 186 hospitals or health systems assessed in Florida, seven fell below the national standard for MRSA, including Jackson Health, which contains the following three hospitals:

  • Miami-based Jackson Memorial Hospital
  • North Miami Beach-based Jackson North Medical Center
  • South Miami-Dade-based Jackson South Community Hospital  

While Jackson Health came in below the national standard for MRSA rates, the health system did score at or above the national benchmark for five other types of common infections.

Lilian Abbo, MD, chief of infection prevention at Jackson Health, acknowledged 2017 MRSA infection rates were higher than expected, but said they fail to account for the high prevalence of MRSA in Miami-Dade County or the size of the health system's caseload. She noted Jackson Health treats a high volume of patients at risk for MRSA, such as nursing home residents or trauma and dialysis patients.

"We know there has been a problem with MRSA," Dr. Abbo told the Miami Herald. "There's a high prevalence in the community. We are taking measures to improve, and we have demonstrated that we can do it as we have done with other [hospital-acquired infections] in the past."

Jackson Health implemented new protocols to address MRSA infection rates, which include improved hygiene and cleaning practices, active surveillance measures for patients deemed high-risk for infections, and a root-cause analysis for every infection that does occur, according to the Miami Herald.

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