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Evaluation of a successful vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus prevention intervention in a community of health care facilities


BACKGROUND: In April 1997, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) emerged in several health care facilities in the Siouxland region and a VRE Task Force was formed. From 1997 through 1999, an evaluation of VRE prevalence at 30 facilities was performed.

METHODS: In 1999, we conducted a survey and focus groups of health care workers to address initial reactions to VRE, feasibility of the Task Force recommendations, and lessons learned.

RESULTS: Personnel at 29 (97%) facilities surveyed completed the questionnaire, and 15 health care workers from 11 facilities participated in 5 focus groups. The outcomes of expanded education and improved awareness of VRE for patients and health care workers were ranked the No. 1 priority overall and by long-term care facility personnel. Respondents agreed that Task Force recommendation adherence had significantly improved infection control (83%) and that the Task Force was an appropriate mechanism to coordinate infection control efforts (90%). Focus groups commented that it was most difficult to educate family members about VRE; they expressed concern about variation between VRE policies, especially between acute care and long-term care facilities, and about the quality of life of isolated patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data illustrate that this intervention has been far-reaching and include the development of a health care infrastructure that may be used as a model to address additional health care issues (eg, emerging pathogens or biological threats).

Sohn AH, Ostrowsky BE, Sinkowitz-Cochran RL, Quirk SB, Jarvis WR

Am J Infect Control 2001 Feb;29(1):53-7

PMID: 11172319