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US MRSA survey indicates major problems

ICNet : 28 June, 2007  (New Product)
The USA’s first nationwide study of the prevalence of MRSA has shown that MRSA is eight times more prevalent than previously thought.
This study, funded by the Association for Professionals in Infection control and Epidemiology (APIC), collected data from more than 1,200 healthcare facilities in all 50 states to determine the current magnitude of MRSA.

In England, the most recent prevalence survey in 2006 suggests that 8.2 percent of patients in an acute hospital have a healthcare associated infection (HCAI).

The UK is the fifth worst country in Europe to be affected by MRSA after Portugal, Malta, Cyprus and Romania, according to data published in the 'European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS) 2005 Annual Report'.

It also highlights that, for the sixth year running, MRSA prevalence is rising consistently across Europe.

The report states, however, that two countries - Slovenia and France - have managed to decrease infection rates through implementing the appropriate long term control efforts.

In spite of a 300,000 grant being made available by Department of Health to every hospital earlier this year for Infection control and surveillance related expenditure, over 120 hospitals are still without software that has been accredited by The Health Protection Agency (HPA) as 'fit for purpose'.

Commenting on the current situation, Michael Houghton, chairman of ICNet - which provides software that is recognised as 'fit for purpose' by the HPA - suggested that unnecessarily bureaucratic purchasing processes used in the NHS were a major factor preventing action on real time surveillance in UK being implemented.

ICNet now provides software to only about 80 of the the 210 UK major Acute Trusts.

Katie Belton, director at ICNet, - exhibiting at the APIC Conference in San Jose, USA - is hugely encouraged by the interest in ICNet's surveillance software.

She said 'It is a pity there's more interest in our system outside the UK than at home'.

'Our system provides real time information alerting Infection control teams to patients with serious infections, making it possible for them to get the right treatment quickly'.

'We can use our tracking system to see who the patient has been in contact with, thereby building up a picture of how the infection might have developed'.
'This will help hospitals limit exposure and protect other patients'.
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