1st on the web (December 17, 2009)Postsurgical infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) increase hospital readmission rates and death and can add $60,000 to per-patient hospital costs, according to a study from Duke University Medical Center.
“We conducted a multi-center study of multiple surgical procedure types among 659 patients to determine clinical and financial outcomes of surgical-site infections that are directly attributable to MRSA,” Deverick J. Anderson, MD, MPH, infectious diseases specialist at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of the study, stated in a press release. “We found the impact of methicillin-resistance on surgical patients is substantial and that preventing a single case of surgical-site infection due to MRSA can potentially save hospitals as much as $60,000.”
The study, published in PLoS ONE, is the first to provide cost-impact data on MRSA related surgical-site infections in a large hospital group. It compared hospital readmission, mortality, length of hospital stay and hospital charges for patients with MRSA, patients with methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and patients without infection. The study was conducted during a 5-year period at six hospitals and one tertiary care center, the release noted.
“We found that patients with surgical-site infections due to MRSA were 35 times more likely to be readmitted and seven times more likely to die within 90 days compared to uninfected surgical patients,” Anderson stated in the release. “These patients also required more than 3 weeks of additional hospitalization and accrued more than $60,000 in additional charges.”The study’s findings showed that methicillin-resistance increased hospital stay and charges, but it did not increase mortality rates when compared with patients with MSSA surgical-site infections, according to the release.
On average, patients with MRSA surgical site infections required 6 more days of hospitalization and incurred $24,000 in additional charges compared to MSSA, the release noted. The overall estimated cost resulting from surgical-site infections due to MRSA was more than $19 million for the hospital group.
“With this new financial data, greater emphasis should be placed on an effort to design and evaluate specific preventative interventions,” Anderson noted in the release.