SEP 03, 2015 06:00 AM PDT

MRSA Screening Program at a Community Healthcare System

Presented At Microbiology
  • Clinical Scientist in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular, Pathology Consultants of South Broward, LLP, Memorial Healthcare System
      Rodney Arcenas earned a B.S. with Honors in Microbiology from the University of Florida in the spring of 1997. He continued his Microbiology training at the University Of South Florida College Of Medicine graduating in 2002 with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Arcenas was then accepted into the Clinical Microbiology Fellowship program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. After completing his fellowship, he was hired in 2004 at LabOne, Inc. in Lenexa, Kansas to be their Scientific Director of Microbiology and Immunology. He left LabOne, Inc. in 2006 to join the Pathology Consultants of South Broward (PCSB) as their Clinical Scientist for Microbiology/Molecular Testing and has been there since. In his time with PCSB, Dr. Arcenas has helped to start the Molecular Infectious Disease testing service that has grown from a day-shift (8-hr, Mon - Fri) operation with 2 Medical Technologists to having 5 full time and 3 part time Medical Technologists with 24-hr shifts (Mon - Fri) and an abbreviated 1.5 shifts on the weekends. He also has helped spearhead the implementation of a successful MRSA active surveillance program that started in 2008. Dr. Arcenas is board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology.


    Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to be a considerable problem for hospitals and healthcare institutions that can adversely affect patient outcomes and impact the financial bottom lines. There are a number of strategies hospitals may implement for combating and controlling HAIs. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of those HAIs that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Minimizing or eliminating the potential for infection is one main driver for a hospital to consider and develop a screening/surveillance program. Other factors include pressures from states passing legislation requiring a MRSA program to be implemented and CMS's initiatives to prevent HAIs in general. The scope and clinical utility of a MRSA screening or active surveillance program is institution dependent and an assessment of the MRSA prevalence will help drive the decision to implement a formal Infection Control program. The identification of MRSA colonized patients is critical in directing Infection Control efforts towards limiting the risk of infection, and decreasing the likelihood that MRSA colonized patients become reservoirs of infection that could potentially be transmitted to other patients via the healthcare worker. In this presentation, we describe our successes and other lessons learned during our experiences in developing and implementing an active surveillance MRSA program in a large community healthcare system.

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