Study at HCA Hospitals Shows “Universal Decolonization” of ICU Patients
Reduces Bloodstream Infections by 44 Percent
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- October 17, 2012
HCA (NYSE: HCA), one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services,
today announced that a comprehensive new study, conducted exclusively at 43
HCA-affiliated hospitals, concluded that using antimicrobial soap and ointment
on intensive care unit patients reduces bloodstream infections, including
MRSA, by 44 percent.
The use of antimicrobial agents on an entire patient population is referred to
as universal decolonization. The study, known as Randomized Evaluation of
Decolonization Versus Universal Clearance to Eliminate (REDUCE) MRSA, was
conducted in conjunction with investigators at Harvard and several other
academic institutions, and research programs at two U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services agencies, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(AHRQ) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The results of REDUCE MRSA are being released for the first time today at
IDWeek 2012™, an annual meeting of infectious disease organizations that
convenes leading researchers to showcase the latest developments in the field.
The findings suggest a major change in healthcare practice that could save
lives. HCA is rolling out universal decolonization in its adult intensive care
units, and implementation is expected to be completed at virtually all HCA
affiliates in early 2013.
“The REDUCE MRSA study proved convincingly that universal decolonization is
the best practice to prevent infection from MRSA and other
antibiotic-resistant bacteria in high risk ICU patients,” said Jonathan B.
Perlin, MD, President, Clinical and Physician Services Group and Chief Medical
Officer of HCA. “By bathing patients with chlorhexidine antiseptic soap and
swabbing their noses with mupirocin antibiotic ointment, central line
bloodstream infections caused by MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria
can be reduced. These compelling results convinced us to begin implementing
this protocol in HCA hospital ICUs.”
The study, which involved nearly 75,000 patients and more than 280,000 patient
days in 74 adult ICUs located in 16 states, compared the results of three
approaches in ICUs:
*Screen all patients and isolate MRSA carriers
*Targeted decolonization after screening
Investigators found that using universal decolonization reduced the number of
patients harboring MRSA by 37 percent. Patients harboring MRSA are not sick
because of it, but they are at risk for later illness and for spreading it to
others. All bloodstream infections decreased by 44 percent. The researchers
noted that this trial took place in HCA facilities, mostly in community
hospitals, rather than academic institutions and was conducted by hospital
personnel rather than specially trained research staff. Therefore, unlike some
clinical studies, these results are likely to be applicable to nearly all U.S.
REDUCE MRSA was a collaborative effort. The study concept and design was
created by investigators in the CDC’s Prevention Epicenter Program at the
University of California, Irvine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and
Harvard Medical School, Rush University and Washington University in St.
Louis. AHRQ’s Healthcare Associated Infections program provided funding, and
the research was conducted through AHRQ’s Developing Evidence to Inform
Decisions about Effectiveness (DECIDE) network. The research was conducted
across 43 HCA hospitals.
“This unprecedented partnership has yielded information that not only makes
preventing MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria simpler and more
effective, it sets a new standard for responsible infection prevention,” said
All references to “Company” and “HCA” as used through this release refer to
HCA Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates.
Mark Kimbrough, 615-344-2688
Ed Fishbough, 615-344-2810
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