Multi Resistant Organism Negative Screening the PAH way

Mr Rajiv Bawa1, Ms Majella Altmann1, Ms Belinda  Henderson1, Ms Sally Healy1, Ms Catherine Watson1

1Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Australia



Multi-resistant Organisms (MRO) are bacteria that are resistant to multiple classes of antimicrobial agents. MRO’s significantly increase the risk of morbidity; mortality and prolonged hospital stay especially, when associated with infection. Coordinated strategies implemented within a Health Care Facility (HCF) can minimise transmission of MRO’s, however there are no uniform guidelines available to ensure all MRO patients are negative screened in the same manner.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) is a large 835 bed tertiary referral hospital based in Metropolitan Brisbane. With an increasing demand for isolation of MRO patients, revision of local policy allowed for a greater number of MRO positive patients to be considered for negative screening.


A risk-based criteria was established to negative screen patients with the following MRO’s: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus Van B (VRE), Multi-resistant Acinetobacter Baumannii (MRAB) and Extended Spectrum β Lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL KLEB).


From Jan 2016 to May 2018, 1221 patients were identified eligible to be negative screened on admission. 773 patients successfully completed the negative screening process and deemed no longer a MRO carrier, thus no longer requiring contact precautions. However, 122 patients yielded a positive result on screening.


The revision of the screening policy allowed 773 patients to be screened negative, thus no longer requiring isolation or contact precautions. The literature supports that removal of transmission based precautions reduces healthcare costs and improves patient outcomes and general health and wellbeing.


Rajiv Bawa RN BNurs

Rajiv has over five year experience as an Infection Control Practitioner. Currently working as clinical Nurse at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Infection Control in Brisbane.

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