OBJECTIVE: To determine trends in compliance with the guidelines for preventing the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in healthcare facilities among New Jersey hospitals from 1989 through 1996.
DESIGN: A voluntary questionnaire was sent to all 96 New Jersey hospitals in 1992. The 53 that responded were resurveyed in 1996.
RESULTS: Of the 96 hospitals surveyed in 1992, 53 (55%) returned a completed questionnaire; 33 (64%) were community, nonteaching hospitals. In 1991, patients with tuberculosis (TB) were admitted at 38 (72%) of 53 hospitals, and from 1989 through 1991, patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB were admitted at 15 (29%) of 52 hospitals. Twenty-nine (57%) of 51 reported having rooms meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) isolation. A nonfitted surgical mask was used as a respiratory protective device by healthcare workers (HCWs) at 28 (55%) of 51 hospitals. Attending physicians were included in tuberculin skin-testing (TST) programs at 5 (11%) of 45 hospitals. In the 1996 resurvey, 48 (94%) of 53 surveyed hospitals returned a completed questionnaire; 34 (81%) of 42 had TB patient admissions, and 4 (9%) of 43 had MDR TB patient admissions in 1996. Forty-five (96%) of 47 reported having rooms that met CDC criteria for AFB isolation. N95 respiratory devices were used by HCWs at 45 (94%) of 48 hospitals. Attending physicians were included in the TST programs at 22 (54%) of 41 hospitals.
CONCLUSION: New Jersey hospitals have made improvements in availability of AFB isolation rooms, use of proper respiratory protective devices, and expansion of TST programs for HCWs from 1989 through 1996.
Manangan LP, Collazo ER, Tokars J, Paul S, Jarvis WR
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1999 May;20(5):337-40