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Hospital infections with multiresistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cause heavy financial burden worldwide. Rapid and precise identification of MRSA carriage in combination with targeted hygienic management are proven to be effective but incur relevant extra costs. Therefore, healthcare providers have to decide which MRSA screening strategy and which diagnostic technology should be applied according to economic criteria.
The aim of this study by Hübner et al. (2015) was to determine which MRSA admission screening and infection control management strategy causes the lowest expected cost for a hospital. Focus was set on the Point-of-Care Testing (PoC).
A decision tree analytic cost model was developed, primarily based on data from peer-reviewed literature. In addition, univariate sensitivity analyses of the different input parameters were conducted to study the robustness of the results.
In the basic analysis, risk-based PoC screening showed the highest mean cost savings with 14.98 € per admission in comparison to no screening. Rapid universal screening methods became favorable at high MRSA prevalence, while in situations with low MRSA transmission rates omission of screening may be favorable.
Early detection of MRSA by rapid PoC or PCR technologies and consistent implementation of appropriate hygienic measures lead to high economic efficiency of MRSA management. Whether general or targeted screening is more efficient depends mainly on epidemiological and infrastructural parameters. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.
Reference: Hübner C, Hübner NO, Wegner C and Flessa S. Impact of different diagnostic technologies for MRSA admission screening in hospitals – a decision tree analysis. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2015, 4:50 doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0093-0