SDW news brief: Private ICU rooms slash healthcare-associated infections by half

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, January 14, 2011

Hospitals with multi-bed intensive care units (ICU) are well advised to convert to single bed private rooms with their own sinks, according to authors of a study that found such a transition resulted in a 54% decline in rates for three types of hospital-acquired bacterial infections.

"Conversion to single rooms can substantially reduce the rate at which patients acquire infectious organisms while in the ICU," wrote Dana Teltsch and colleagues at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. The article was published this week in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers found declines in combined rates of Clostridium difficile, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

That's statistically significant, because 30% of ICU patients are diagnosed with a healthcare-associated infection, which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, increased lengths of stay of eight or nine days, and $3.5 billion per year in estimated additional healthcare costs in the U.S., the authors wrote.

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Source: HealthLeaders Media