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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 Apr;31(4):357-64. doi: 10.1086/651096.

Hand hygiene noncompliance and the cost of hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hand hygiene noncompliance is a major cause of nosocomial infection. Nosocomial infection cost data exist, but the effect of hand hygiene noncompliance is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-related cost of an incident of hand hygiene noncompliance by a healthcare worker during patient care.

DESIGN:

Two models were created to simulate sequential patient contacts by a hand hygiene-noncompliant healthcare worker. Model 1 involved encounters with patients of unknown MRSA status. Model 2 involved an encounter with an MRSA-colonized patient followed by an encounter with a patient of unknown MRSA status. The probability of new MRSA infection for the second patient was calculated using published data. A simulation of 1 million noncompliant events was performed. Total costs of resulting infections were aggregated and amortized over all events.

SETTING:

Duke University Medical Center, a 750-bed tertiary medical center in Durham, North Carolina.

RESULTS:

Model 1 was associated with 42 MRSA infections (infection rate, 0.0042%). Mean infection cost was $47,092 (95% confidence interval [CI], $26,040-$68,146); mean cost per noncompliant event was $1.98 (95% CI, $0.91-$3.04). Model 2 was associated with 980 MRSA infections (0.098%). Mean infection cost was $53,598 (95% CI, $50,098-$57,097); mean cost per noncompliant event was $52.53 (95% CI, $47.73-$57.32). A 200-bed hospital incurs $1,779,283 in annual MRSA infection-related expenses attributable to hand hygiene noncompliance. A 1.0% increase in hand hygiene compliance resulted in annual savings of $39,650 to a 200-bed hospital.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hand hygiene noncompliance is associated with significant attributable hospital costs. Minimal improvements in compliance lead to substantial savings.

PMID:
20184440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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