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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections (CMS)

Why is this measure important?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. In a healthcare facility, MRSA can cause serious bloodstream infections. MRSA can be spread by direct contact with infected cuts and sores and contaminated hands.

Hospital staff members can prevent most MRSA infections by following the infection control guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hospitals following these safety guidelines will likely have low numbers in this measure.

What does this measure show?

Northwestern Memorial’s healthcare facility onset rates for MRSA bloodstream infections are based on results from lab tests taken on or after the fourth day of an inpatient hospital stay. The rate is shown using a Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR), which is used to determine if Northwestern Medicine’s rates of MRSA bloodstream infections are statistically different from the national average.

The MRSA infection score is shown as a Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR). This ratio is found by comparing the number of MRSA infections at Northwestern Medicine to a national benchmark. It only includes patients who had symptoms of MRSA infection and tested positive after they were in the hospital for four or more days. 

For this measure, a lower number is better.