(HealthDay News) – A national initiative to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection has successfully reduced MRSA health care-associated infections in Veterans Affairs long-term care facilities, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Martin E. Evans, MD, from Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kentucky, and colleagues examined the effect of the Veterans Affairs MRSA Prevention Initiative, which was implemented in its 133 long-term care facilities in January 2009.

From July 2009–December 2012, the researchers found that there were approximately 12.9 million resident-days in these facilities nationwide. The mean quarterly MRSA admission prevalence increased from 23.3% to 28.7% (P<0.0001) during this period, but the overall rate of MRSA health care-associated infections decreased by 36%, from 0.25 to 0.16/1,000 resident-days (P<0.0001).

“Our experience suggests that adherence to a simple bundle of infection prevention and control strategies may be of value in controlling MRSA health care-associated infections in community living centers, especially if the program is implemented widely throughout the network of health care venues in which an individual may seek care,” the authors write.

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