Cost Impacts of Pooled ESwab Culture Method in MRSA Screening: a Four-year Experience from Eastern Finland

Background
• Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) incidence rates began to increase during years 2007-2008 in North Karelia Hospital District in eastern Finland (Figure 1). Similarly, the need for MRSA screening increased considerably. The peak number of MRSA screening samples per year was 27 281 in 2009 (Figure 2).
• Albeit effective, the recommended multiple body-site MRSA screening is costly to the health care system. Thus, a pooled MRSA enrichment culture method was implemented in the beginning of 2012 with intention to reduce the costs of large-scale MRSA screening and to better manage the challenges related to increased number of daily MRSA screening samples in microbiology laboratory.

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