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Aurora Health Care receives grant to fund MRSA research


MILWAUKEE A nonprofit healthcare system in Wisconsin has received a grant to fund research on whether targeted or universal screening of hospital patients is cost-effective in the prevention of antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus infections.

Aurora Health Care announced that it received $24,000 from the Cardinal Health Foundation to fund the study on methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSAs.

The study will take place between July 1 and June 30, 2010, at the Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center, Aurora BayCare Medical Center and ACL Lab, and will involve Aurora patient safety officer and medical director of care management Kathy Leonhardt and Marquette University economist Olga Yakusheva as co-principal investigators.

“There has been international debate on how best to identify patients with MRSA when they are admitted to the hospital,” Leonhardt said. “It’s vital because, of course, we want to keep the infection from spreading. There are two common approaches: targeted screening or universal screening.”

Leonhardt said that in targeted screening, people with certain criteria are tested, while universal screening tests everyone. She said that while clinical studies on the effectiveness of each method have been conducted, researchers have not reached a consensus.

The grant is part of a $1 million funding program from Cardinal Health Foundation for new programs to improve patient safety at 35 hospitals, community health clinics and health systems across the country.

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