Monday, April 21, 2014

Contact Precautions- More is Not Necessarily Better

Those who have previously followed my blog are aware that use of contact precautions is controversial. At VCU Medical center, we no longer isolate patients who are infected or colonized with MRSA or VRE.

Here is a recent study assessing the impact of increased contact precautions on compliance with best practices.  As the burden of isolation increased (20% or less to greater than 60%), a decrease in compliance with hand hygiene (43.6%-4.9%) and with all 5 components  (hand hygiene before and after patient encounter, donning of gown and glove upon entering a patient room, and doffing upon exiting)  was observed (31.5%-6.5%)

To me this underscores the following: we are still looking for the best way to apply contact precautions and for a means to promote and maintain compliance with contact precautions when its use is deemed necessary. 

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