The order of ward rounds influences nosocomial infection. A 2-year study in gastroenterologic surgery patients
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We studied the effect of the order of ward rounds on nosocomial infection in gastroenterologic surgery patients. The subjects were patients with gastrointestinal diseases admitted between September 1992 and August 1994. During the 1st year, the round proceeded indiscriminately among recovery rooms and rooms with stable patients and isolated patients with methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the subsequent year, the round started in the recovery rooms and moved into the general rooms with stable patients and finally into the isolation rooms. Against the time course, piecewise linear regression analyses were made with the number of culture-positive patients and the quantities of antibiotics and disinfectants used. Of a total of 1894 strains from 264 patients, isolates of MRSA (n=200) decreased from 150 in the 1st year to 50 in the 2nd year. The number of MRSA-positive patients showed the point of inflexion in the analysis at the change of round order, with a later decrease. The trend was similar forCandida (n=99) andEnterococcal (n=225) species. The amount of antibiotics was unchanged while the amount of disinfectants used decreased in the 2nd year. Thus, the round re-ordering appeared to help prevent nosocomial infection. Ward rounds for patients who have had gastroenterologic surgery should proceed from compromised hosts to stable patients, and then isolated patients.
Key wordsward round methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus Candida Pseudomonas aeruginosa Enterococci
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