Reducing Inpatient Healthcare-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemias through a Multifactorial Infection Prevention Strategy

Mr Gerald Chan1, Dr Steve Edmondston1

1St John of God Murdoch Hospital, Murdoch, Australia


Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemias (HA-SABs) are rare but serious complications of healthcare procedures, and are considered to be preventable adverse events. Patients who develop HA-SABs often suffer harm resulting in extended hospitalizations or even death.

This study evaluated year-on-year trends in HA-SABs in a large WA private hospital, and the short-term impact of multi-factor infection prevention strategies developed in response to root cause analysis findings.


An increase in HA-SABs was noted in 2017/2018 through routine bacteraemia surveillance utilising standardised infection definitions and methodology established by the Healthcare Infection Surveillance WA program.

A modified multifactorial infection prevention response was introduced and the short-term impact of this program was measured by comparison with 2018/2019 HA-SAB rates.

HA-SAB rates were monitored 3 years prior to the implementation of the modified program, and the year after it was introduced. Chi-squared tests of proportions were used to test for significant differences in HA-SAB rates in consecutive years.


The hospital had a cumulative average annual HA-SAB rate of 0.358 infections per 10,000 bed days, 3 years to 2016/2017. This increased to 0.709 infections in 2017/2018.

12 months following the implementation of the modified program, the HA-SAB rate decreased to previous benchmarks (0.237 infections).

No statistically significant differences in HA-SAB rates was identified between consecutive years included in the analysis.


A short-term decrease in HA-SABs was observed following the implementation of the modified program. While not statistically different, the decrease in HA-SAB rates is clinically important, and the long-term impact will be monitored.


Gerald is a passionate credentialed infection control practitioner with >20 years of healthcare experience. He currently leads the Infection Control program at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, WA.

Recent Comments