Article

Simulation Shows Hospitals That Cooperate On Infection Control Obtain Better Results Than Hospitals Acting Alone

Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 10/2012; 31(10):2295-303. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0992
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Efforts to control life-threatening infections, such as with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can be complicated when patients are transferred from one hospital to another. Using a detailed computer simulation model of all hospitals in Orange County, California, we explored the effects when combinations of hospitals tested all patients at admission for MRSA and adopted procedures to limit transmission among patients who tested positive. Called "contact isolation," these procedures specify precautions for health care workers interacting with an infected patient, such as wearing gloves and gowns. Our simulation demonstrated that each hospital's decision to test for MRSA and implement contact isolation procedures could affect the MRSA prevalence in all other hospitals. Thus, our study makes the case that further cooperation among hospitals-which is already reflected in a few limited collaborative infection control efforts under way-could help individual hospitals achieve better infection control than they could achieve on their own.

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    • "In addition to providing a better understanding of the spread of nosocomial infections, mathematical models have been employed to assess the effects of infection control measures. Lee et al. (2012) showed that coordinated MRSA prevention practices can result in beneficial effects for all hospitals in a county or region, even for those that do not implement the intervention: The more hospitals that work together, the greater the benefit. These results are consistent with the theoretical analysis by Smith et al. (2005), which explored, in a theoretical multi-hospital setting, the impact of inter- ventions. "
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