AHRQ Safety Program for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Prevention

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most invasive and deadly multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) pathogens. The CDC recently reported that more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year and more than 35,000 people die as a result. For the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), NORC is working with Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality (JHAI) to implement and evaluate a Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) for MRSA Prevention program, a multi-year effort focused on the development and quality improvement of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) interventions across care settings throughout the United States—as well as equipping frontline providers with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance their MRSA prevention practices.

The overarching goals of the AHRQ Safety Program for MRSA Prevention are to assess, reinforce, and improve multiple domains of the infection prevention program in ICU, non-ICU, surgical, and long term care (LTC) settings, as well as determine how to best adapt and implement the CUSP model in these health care settings. The program will recruit a total of 1,400 participating sites across the U.S.: 400 intensive care units (ICUs), 400 non-ICUs, 300 surgical services units, and 300 long-term care (LTC) facilities. NORC will conduct a mixed-method evaluation of MRSA prevention interventions across these different care settings to gauge impact on infection rates.

The program is supported by a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) consisting of subject matter experts representing leaders in MRSA prevention across ICUs, non-ICUs, surgical, and long-term care settings, leaders of patients/patient advocacy groups, experts with experience conducting largescale interventional studies involving adaptive changes, executives from integrated healthcare delivery systems, and ex-officio members from government agencies. Three quality improvement organizations are working to support implementation of the program. NORC hosts all the educational webinars and office hours to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing. NORC is also collecting periodic data from the participating sites throughout the implementation phase of the program, using a secure data submission portal, and is conducting a comprehensive, mixed methods evaluation to assess adoption of the program; measure effectiveness of the interventions in participating sites; and evaluate characteristics of teams and senior leaders associated with successful implementation and improvements in outcomes.

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