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January 2013, Volume 43 Number 1 , p 21 - 23



As primary providers of round-the-clock patient care, nurses are good judges of their hospitals' quality, according to a new study involving more than 16,000 nurses from almost 400 hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Researchers asked nurses to respond to a single item that asked them to report on quality of care, then correlated their responses with standard process or outcomes measures of quality. They found that a 10% increment in the proportion of nurses reporting excellent care was associated with: * lower odds of mortality and failure to rescue * greater patient satisfaction * higher composite process of care scores for surgical patients and those with acute myocardial infarction or pneumonia.The researchers concluded that nurses' perceptions regarding quality of care "is a useful indicator of hospital performance."Sources: McHugh MD, Stimpfel AW. Nurse reported quality of care: a measure of hospital quality. Res Nurs Health. 2012;35(6):566-575; Nurses' assessment of hospital quality. Press release, Penn Nursing Science, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. 2012; October 8.In a study involving almost 75,000 patients in 43 hospitals in 16 states, researchers examined various methods to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. They found that the most effective intervention was also the simplest: daily bathing of all ICU patients with chlorhexidine soap during their ICU stay and applying mupirocin ointment in their nasal passage for 5 days.Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Those in one group were screened for MRSA and those found to be carriers were isolated. In the second group, patients were also screened and isolated, but the bathing and ointment intervention was the added for MRSA carriers. No patients in the third group were screened and all received the bathing/ointment protocol.In the groups following this protocol, the proportion of patients harboring MRSA fell by about

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