University of Maryland examines benefits, drawbacks of contact precautions

When dealing with patients known to be infected with or carrying multidrug-resistant organisms, the CDC recommends using contact precautions, but the use of this practice is widely debated in the medical community, according to University of Maryland Medical Center researchers.

To better clarify best practices, a group of epidemiologists and infection prevention specialists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, reviewed current practices and existing literature to build a framework for contact precaution decision-making. They also conducted a survey of epidemiologists and infection prevention specialists.

Here are five things the researchers found:

1. There are no high-quality data to either support or reject using contact precautions.

2. Individual hospital contact precaution practices vary considerably.

3. One single, standard contact precaution rule for all hospitals is not really feasible.

4. That said, the use of contact precautions is associated with fewer healthcare worker-patient visits and (perhaps as a result) lower patient satisfaction.

5. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of epidemiologists and infection prevention specialists favor implementing contact precautions, but want to do so using alternative approached to the CDC's recommended methods.

To read more about the study, click here.



More articles on contact precautions and infection control:
25 things for healthcare CFOs to know about HAIs
Patient bathing or contact precautions: Which reduces MRSA spread the most?
How the VA, HCA dramatically reduced MRSA infections

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