Board-certified infection control directors linked to lower MRSA rates, study reveals

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Healthcare providers with board-certified infection prevention specialists on staff have substantially fewer methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections than those that don't, new research suggests.

Researchers from Columbia University's nursing school studied 203 California healthcare facilities with infection prevention programs to see if the presence of a board certified infection-control director impacted infection rates. In looking at bloodstream infection data from 91 of these facilities, they noted that programs with board-certified directors had significantly lower MRSA rates. A provider's participation in a multi-facility performance improvement project also improved infection rates, they found.

"The association between a board certified professional and fewer MRSA infections likely reflects greater awareness and level of implementation of evidence-based prevention practices," said Michelle Farber, RN, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.