Questions for Contact Precautions Eliminators
Question #1: Are hospitals no longer a source for MDRO-bacterial acquisition? Do acute care hospitals or subpopulation (ICUs, hemodialysis) remain sites for patient-to-patient transmission or have we completely eliminated transmission in these settings?
Question #2: If transmission has been eliminated, how would we know? Are you aware of data that proves patients who are uncolonized on admission remain uncolonized by the time of discharge? Does your hospital do discharge surveillance cultures for sentinel organisms like MRSA, CRE?
Question #3: If you don't do surveillance culturing on discharge, do you follow patients post discharge to make sure they don't develop an MDRO infection at a subsequent point? Do patients no longer develop MDRO infections linked to a prior hospital stay suggesting that all transmission is now occurring in the community setting?
Question #4: If transmission in acute-care settings has been eliminated, how has that happened? Is it that hand hygiene compliance of 34 to 57% is enough to halt all transmission? Is it that the environment is so sparkling clean these days that clinicians can't even pick up bad bacteria on their hands?
Question #5: Perhaps you agree that hospitals (or ICUs) are still engines powering the emergence of MDRO in human populations and your hospital might even be a source for patient acquisition. Is it that you think hands are not a source of transmission and contact precautions just don't work? Do you feel similarly about hand hygiene - does hand hygiene not reduce transmission? Since we know that when caring for patients that healthcare workers gloves/gowns become contaminated 8-39% of the time, where do these bacteria go? Do they just disappear?
Question #6: Finally, even if transmission is occurring via the hands of healthcare workers maybe you're convinced it's not your problem? If you can't see the benefits directly in your hospital, it's not important. Tragedy of the commons? - meh. Perhaps, it's up to me to detect all MRSA colonized patients in my clinic or on admission to my hospital and decolonize them?