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Private rooms help in the reduction of hospital infections

A study released today in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that private rooms in Intensive Care Units (ICU) can help in the reduction of hospital infections such as C- difficile.

The research team from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University also suggest that patient length of stay could also be reduced resulting in cost savings to the healthcare system.

Dr. Vivian Loo, Chief of Microbiology at MUHC, Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Medicine and one of the co-authors of the study said: “This study is the first evaluation of the full range of benefits of private rooms in an ICU environment and highlights the important role that physical infrastructure plays in the prevention of transmission of healthcare associated pathogens”. Dr. Loo went on to highlight the importance of other factors in the fight against infection prevention focusing on hand hygiene, isolation precautions, antibiotic stewardship and the implementation of housekeeping practices.

Although previously investigated, researchers have struggled to draw any conclusions from studies into the reduction of HAIs through the use of single patient rooms until now.

The MUHC and McGill study, which involved Dana Teltsch, lead author of the study and Ph.D. candidate at the McGill Dept. of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, found a 50 per cent fall in infection acquisition rates of bacteria MRSA, VRE and C-difficile after the implementation of room privatisation. The study also records a ten per cent reduction in the length of stay on ICU after patient changes to private rooms.

All rooms at the New MUHC are single patient rooms that, apart from limiting the spread of infections, will allow patients to stay in their rooms for routine exams, tests and treatments providing a more private and comfortable atmosphere.

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