Readmission of asymptomatic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers may contribute to the hospital reservoir. Using an electronic alert system, we assessed the weight of readmission of known MRSA carriers on MRSA colonization pressure in a hospital setting. During the 2004–2010 period, 2058 alerts were generated for 1060 inpatients. A total of 486/1060 patients (46%) were readmitted at least once, and 330/486 (64·4%) were readmitted <3 months after discharge. A mean of 20 MRSA patients were present on the same day (from 40 in 2004 to eight in 2010). The number of MRSA patient-days was 34 575, i.e. 2·5% of the 1 366 277 patient-days of the study period, and 17 737 (51·3%) MRSA patient-days were due to readmission of known MRSA carriers. The number of new MRSA cases was partly correlated with the number of MRSA patients hospitalized (R2 = 0·49). Rapid electronic identification of these patients proved essential in decreasing the global burden of MRSA in our hospital.
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