2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 26 - HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS
Section 26:2H-12.35 - Findings, declarations relative to prevention of health care facility-acquired infections.
26:2H-12.35 Findings, declarations relative to prevention of health care facility-acquired infections.
1.The Legislature finds and declares that:
a.Two million patients in this country become infected after entering hospitals each year and about 90,000 of those patients die as a result of those infections;
b.Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common staph infection which is resistant to powerful antibiotics and which is increasingly prevalent in health care settings;
c.MRSA can survive on cloth and plastic for up to 90 days, and is frequently transmitted by contaminated hands, clothes and non-invasive instruments, so that the number of patients who can become infected from even one carrier multiplies dramatically;
d.The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in 20 patients entering a hospital carries MRSA, and reported that MRSA accounted for 60% of infections in American hospitals in 2004, up from 2% in 1974;
e.The annual nationwide cost to treat hospitalized patients infected with MRSA is estimated to be more than $4 billion;
f.These infections are preventable, and recent data support a multi-faceted approach to successfully combat them, including routine screening, isolation of colonized and infected patients, strict compliance with hygiene guidelines, and a change in culture to ensure that infection prevention and control is everyone's job and is a natural component of care at each patient encounter each day;
g.Virtually all published analyses comparing the costs of screening patients upon admission and adopting effective infection control practices with the costs of caring for infected patients have concluded that caring for infected patients is much more expensive;
h.Routine screening and isolation of all patients with MRSA in hospitals in Denmark and Holland have reduced MRSA to 10% of their bacterial infections, and a pilot program undertaken by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System that reduced MRSA infections in its surgical care unit by 70% was so successful that all VA health care facilities have been directed to develop and implement similar approaches to prevent the spread of MRSA in at least one unit, with the goal to apply successful strategies facility-wide; and
i.It is a matter of public health and fiscal policy that patients in New Jersey's health care facilities receive health care that incorporates these best practices in infection control, not only to protect their health and lives, but also to ensure the economic viability of New Jersey's health care institutions.
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