To identify infection control policies and practices used by long-term-care facilities (LTCFs) in Iowa for residents with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and to estimate the prevalence of residents known to have these organisms.
LTCFs in Iowa from December 2002 through March 2003.
Of the 429 LTCFs in Iowa, 331 (77%) responded to the survey. The estimated prevalence of residents known to have MRSA was 13.4 per 1,000 and that of residents known to have VRE was 2.3 per 1,000. Facilities owned by the government or those with an average of more than 86 occupied beds were more likely to have residents known to have MRSA and VRE (P = .002 and .007, respectively). Of the responding facilities, 7.3% acknowledged that they refused to accept individuals known to have MRSA and 16.9% acknowledged that they refused to accept those known to have VRE. Facilities in large communities (population, > 100,000) were least likely to deny admission to an individual known to have either MRSA or VRE (P = .05). Most facilities reported adhering to the national guidelines, but fewer than half (44.7%) of the respondents had heard of the Iowa Antibiotic Resistance Task Force's guidelines regarding residents with MRSA or VRE.
Many LTCFs in Iowa care for residents known to have MRSA or VRE, but some refuse to admit these individuals. Infection control personnel and public health officials should work together to educate LTCF staff so that residents receive proper care and resistant organisms do not spread within this setting.
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