Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, are defined as bacteria that have become resistant to all but one or two antimicrobial agents. “Multi-drug resistant organisms cause infections that are very difficult to treat. This threat goes beyond the medical community. It is a public health crisis waiting to happen,” said Eli Perencevich, MD, MS, Director of HSR&D’s Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation (CADRE). As the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system, VA is leading efforts to prevent the spread of dangerous MDROs.
VA introduced the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative in 2007. Although the Initiative was perceived as only targeting MRSA, it also expanded infection prevention and control programs and resources, which could result in lower rates of infection with other pathogenic bacteria. In one study, researchers assessed the effect of the MRSA Initiative on hospital-onset (HO) gram-negative rod (GNR) bacteremia (E coli, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas) at 130 VA facilities from January 2003 to December 2013. Findings show:
Also, part of VA’s continuing efforts to decrease rates of MDROs, a group of HSR&D infectious disease researchers and operations partners convened in September 2016 to identify key knowledge gaps and important targets for future investigation. Articles resulting from this collaboration were featured nationally in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology in 2018. Some of the important information in this issue includes: