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The MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection rate is calculated as a rate per 1,000 patient days.

The “total patient days” represents the sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during the given time period.

The rate is calculated as follows: Number of new hospital acquired cases of MRSA in Baycrest Hospital divided by Total number of patient days (for one month) x1000.

For information about Baycrest's rates, please visit the Health Quality Ontario website.


    What is MRSA?

    Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally S. aureus can cause an infection. When S. aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

    How is MRSA spread?

    MRSA is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. MRSA can be present on the caregiver’s hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with MRSA, such as towels, sheets and wound dressings. MRSA can live on hands and objects in the environment.

    What is bacteraemia?

    Bacteraemia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.

    What is a case of MRSA bacteraemia?

    A case is a patient identified with laboratory confirmed bloodstream infection with methicillin resistant Staphylococccus aureus (MRSA). A blood stream infection is a single positive blood culture for MRSA.

    What are the risk factors for MRSA?

    Risk factors for MRSA acquisition include invasive procedures, prior treatment with antibiotics, prolonged hospital stay, stay in an intensive care or burn unit, surgical wound infection and close proximity to a colonized person. MRSA can also be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk.

    What special precautions are required for MRSA?

    It is important that special precautions are taken to stop MRSA from spreading to other patients in the hospital. These precautions include:

    • Single room accommodation (the door can remain open)
    • A long-sleeved gown and gloves must be worn by everyone who cares for you
    • A sign may be placed on your door to remind others who enter your room about the special
    • precautions
    • The room and the equipment used in the room will be cleaned and disinfected regularly
    • Everyone who leaves your room must clean their hands well
    • You must clean your hands before you leave your room

    What about Family/Visitors?

    Families and visitors should not assist other patients with their personal care as this may cause the germ to spread. You may be required to wear a long-sleeved gown and gloves while in your loved one’s (client) room. Before leaving the room, visitors must remove the gloves and gown and dispose of wash your hands.

    Good Hand Hygiene Practices

    All clients, patients, staff, families and visitors should practice good hand hygiene. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate proper hand hygiene techniques (15 seconds of soap and running water OR waterless alcohol hand rub until hands are dry).

    Remember to always wash your hands:

    • After using the bathroom
    • After blowing your nose
    • Before eating and drinking
    • When your hands are visibly dirty (soiled)
    • Before you leave the client room

    What will happen at home?

    If you or your loved one have MRSA at the time of discharge from hospital, the chance of spreading the germ to your family is small. But, you should practice the following:

    • Everyone who might help you with your personal hygiene or with going to the toilet should wash their hands after contact with you.
    • Wash your hands before you make any food and before you eat. This practice should be followed by everyone in the household.
    • Wash your hands well after using the toilet. Make sure others that use the bathroom wash their hands well afterwards.
    • Clothing may be laundered in the same manner as the rest of the household laundry.
    • No special cleaning of furniture or items (e.g. dishes) in the home is required.
    • Always tell your physician, paramedics, nurses or other care providers that you have MRSA. This helps prevent spread to others.
  • Public Reporting and Rates

    What will be publicly reported?

    Each hospital will post its quarterly rate and case count of new MRSA bacteraemia acquired in their facility. At the end of each quarter, the ministry will report the previous quarter’s data on its website by hospital site including:

    • the number of new hospital acquired MRSA bacteraemia cases that is zero (0) or totalling five (5) or more associated with that hospital site, or if this is less than 5 cases (i.e. 1 to 4 cases), text reading “the hospital acquired MRSA bacteraemia rate is..."

    It is important to note that MRSA bacteraemia rates do not necessarily reflect the rate of MRSA colonization in the hospital.

    For information about Baycrest's rates, please visit the Health Quality Ontario website.

    What determines the rate?

    The total number of new cases of MRSA bacteraemia acquired in the hospital in a quarter is divided by the total number of patient days for that quarter. Patient days are the number of days spent in a hospital for all patients. The results are multiplied by 1000. This represents the rate of hospital acquired associated MRSA bacteraemia associated with the reporting facility per 1000 patient days for that quarter. (e.g. 2 cases for that quarter ÷ 30,000 patient days for that quarter = 0.00006 x 1000 = 0.06 per 1000 patient days). The rates of infection will be calculated by quarter.

    What will the healthcare system do with the rate information?

    Hospital acquired infection rates provide one measure of patient safety and quality of care. The rate of hospital acquired MRSA bacteraemia can be used to analyze any trends of infection, sources of infection and general surveillance of MRSA bacteraemia. It can also assist hospitals to evaluate the effectiveness of infection.

  • Baycrest Specific Information

    How frequently will Baycrest report on MRSA?

    • The rates of infection will be calculated by quarter.