Archive for February, 2010

Why snub success of MRSA prevention

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

Active Detection and Isolation for MRSA prevention and reduction has been proven successful  in all of our VA hospitals, Hospital Corporation of America facilities, Evanston Illinois trio of hospitals, and entire countries and thousands of hospitals nation and worldwide.  How can the CDC and the hospitals in Maine snub that success.  I believe if Maine hospitals had that kind of success with MRSA reductions they would be singing from the mountain tops and echoing the success all through the country.  I know there have been small successes.  Some have had limited success with preventing bacteremia.   MRSA bacteremia is only 10% of all MRSA.  All success is welcome and applauded, but we need BIG numbers, across the board reduction of MRSA infections.

Why emphasize  just MRSA they ask. We emphasize MRSA  because it is by far the biggest infection problem within and outside of our hospitals.  We do not hear about an outbreak of Community acquired VRE or C Diff.  The other MDROs can be an organism on a person on admission but it does not share the same prevalence as MRSA.  Community Acquired MRSA is evolving and growing out of control   It is moving into our hospitals and the strains are merging.  It is virulent and every bit as deadly when it becomes invasive.  Stopping MRSA at hospital doors before it moves inside is necessary.  Only ADI will do that.

Nothing excuses snubbing ADI success, but I believe that some of the following problems may be part of it.

1. Hospitals can make money on infections and they can also get reimbursed for the high priced antibiotics it takes to treat MRSA.  It is easier and more profitable for hospitals  to react to and treat infections than it is to prevent them.

2. MRSA screening and prevention will not MAKE hospitals money, like high priced MRIs do.  Maybe we can figure out a way to do an MRI to diagnose MRSA colonization or infection.  MRSA screening is proven to SAVE hospitals money though.

3. If a hospital infects you while you are vulnerable and in their care, they still get paid.  Another approach to improved  infection control, other than legislation and medical legal ways, may be to campaign insurers to STOP PAYMENT FOR  AVOIDABLE BAD OUTCOMES!   Paying for hospitals acquired infections is something I would prefer that my insurance NOT DO!  I pay my premiums, and I would like to see HAIs removed from things that they cover.  And, there needs to be protection that the burden would not be shifted to the patient either.  It all comes down to money (rather than suffering and death)  after all.  This may be the way to go about it.

4. Doctors and managers with big egos and bean counters make decisions regarding MRSA prevention.  None of the opponents of my MRSA legislation EVER touch a “dirty” infected patient.  They write policies, set budgets, write articles, do studies, study data, manipulate the number of infections, do reports, attend public hearings and meetings, manage other employees, teach, do phone consults and referrals, and God knows what else.  But NONE of them touch infected patients. NONE of them see the suffering.  None of them get near to or have actual contact with with pus, sputum, urine, feces, or other infected parts of suffering and/or dying infected patients.  They are so far detached from that , that they are never endangered by these horrors or really even around it.  Yet, they are the ones who set policy and fight effective measures for prevention.  Who gives them that right?  We do. Healthcare consumers who do not fight back give hospitals  that right. 

We need to fight back and tell our legislators that we do not accept any level of neglect from our hospitals.  We do not accept the death and suffering of our loved ones or others because they refuse to recognize scientifically proven methods of MRSA prevention. 

Support Maine LD 1687 by calling your local representatives in the State of Maine.

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Maine LD 1687 Define High Risk MRSA and report MRSA

February 16th, 2010 No comments

Tomorrow at 1pm at the Cross building in Augusta Maine, LD 1687 will be heard by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.   Our work with MRSA legislation in Maine has brought a great deal of attention to Hospital Acquired MRSA and other Hospital Acquired Infections.   We currently have high risk MRSA screening in Maine but it is “only a test”.  Our fears are that the “test” will be limited and we will still be left with no minimum standard for screening high risk patients in Maine.  The law clearly states that there will be “surveillance of all high risk populations” and this is what we expect from out hospitals.

So LD 1687 clearly outlines the necessary steps it will take to make this “test”  an ongoing  program for the purpose of increasing the safety of all patients in Maine Hospitals.  It also outlines the fact that currently we have NO accurate or honest data to use to measure the success of MRSA screening or other prevention measures.  So, we absolutely must make MRSA reporting mandatory.  Hospitals need to become  transparent and accountable for any failures in their systems.  We hear all the good things about the lives saved and how they operate as a “family”.  There is no denying that Maine Hospitals on the whole do a tremendous job, but there are failures.  When a person with no sign of infection enters the hospital and contracts an infection that kills them or disables them………that is failure.  These things can no longer be swept under the rug.  We need to acknowledge them and fix the problem that created them.

MRSA screening of high risk patients will save lives.  And reporting all infecitons will keep hospitals on their toes, but comparing their rates with national averages and also with each other within the state.

Please support LD 1687.

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