WA starts tracking MRSA cases

As we noted yesterday, MRSA isn't tracked as closely in U.S. hospitals as patient advocates would like, nor are cases reported publicly in many instances. However, Washington state has pulled away from the pack, with state officials having begun tracking hospital-based MRSA cases. The state's health agency, which is also asking for voluntary reports on patients who have the flu and MRSA pneumonia, now requires hospitals to use federal guidelines for controlling the killer superbug.

The push comes partly in follow-up to a newspaper piece reporting that MRSA cases in hospitals have climbed 33-fold over a decade, a rise which has attracted little attention from state health officials or regulators.

Unfortunately, it's not clear how much more the state's health policy leaders can do, given budgetary pressures. While the state Department of Health has asked for a relatively paltry $768,000 for infection surveillance for next year, it's not clear that it will get even that much.

To learn more about Washington state's MRSA efforts:
- read this Seattle Post-Intelligencer piece

Related Articles:
Patient advocates fight for MRSA screenings, report cards
Study: Broad testing can slash MRSA rates
VA program slashes MRSA infection rates
Study: MRSA infecting up to 5 percent of patients

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.