MRSA Rates Cut in Jacksonville Area Hospitals

Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine is one of a few hospitals across the country that has installed a new high-tech device to cut down on antibiotic resistance staph infection, MRSA. Workers just wave their hands beneath a sensor to find the drug resistant form of staph.

The good news is that it appears to be working as do other efforts nationwide to cut down on hospital-acquired infections from the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that hospital-acquired MRSA cases dropped by 28 percent between 2005 and 2008. The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

MRSA rates also declined by 17% among nine metro area outpatient settings.

Flagler Hospital’s director of infection prevention reports the sensor works by picking up the scent of alcohol, used to kill bacteria and a common ingredient in soaps and gels. If the employee did not wash his hands, the sensor will vibrate their badge as a reminder to wash their hands before seeing the patient. The sensor was developed at the University of Florida.

Unfortunately, doctors and nurses sometimes skip this important step. MRSA can introduce untreatable infections internally that can invade organs and get into the bloodstream where they can be fatal. When this happens, Jacksonville medical malpractice attorneys can help.

Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, has also made infection control a priority. Hand washing is scored and publicly posted. A team of specialists monitors central IV lines that can be a source of infection. At Mayo, the overall cases of MRSA have reportedly dropped from 20 last June to eight this year.

At Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, the HyGreen system will be installed in the next month in the 24 bed intensive-care unit at considerable cost. The hospital has already spent $500,000 so far on HyGreen.