May/June 2008

Saint Clare’s Wins IHI Innovation Challenge for Reducing MRSA Infection

Saint Clare’s Health System, Denville, N.J., was selected as the winner of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Innovation Challenge for Reducing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. Saint Clare’s won recognition in the full implementation category. Through multiple initiatives, Saint Clare’s reduced its rate of MRSA hospital-acquired infections from 0.84 in 2003 to 0.29 in 2007, an improvement of 35 percent in five years. The steps Saint Clare’s took to reduce the infection rate include isolating MRSA-positive patients; improving hand hygiene; educating the environmental staff on the role of a clean environment in the prevention and control of infection; and creating an infection control liaison program. In addition, Saint Clare’s expanded the state of New Jersey’s mandatory MRSA nasal screening program to include many high-risk populations. For more information, contact Norma Atienza or Laura Anderson of Saint Clare’s at or