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Bill Targeting Drug-Resistant Staph Infections Introduced in California Legislature

In a California Healthline Special Report, Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara); Henry Chambers, head of infection control at San Francisco General Hospital; and Debby Rogers, vice president of quality and emergency services at the California Hospital Association, discussed provisions of Alquist’s legislation aimed at curbing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections.

The bill, SB 1058, would require:

  • Screenings for high-risk patients entering hospitals and nursing homes;
  • An enhanced protocol at hospitals and nursing homes to prevent staph cases;
  • Tracking of staph in hospitals, nursing homes and the community; and
  • Public disclosure of hospital infection rates.

Alquist maintains that the bill would help prevent deaths, but Chambers and Rogers worry that the new requirements might be untenable for hospitals.

Moreover, Rogers argues that legislation is unnecessary because CHA has issued guidelines for its members to prevent such infections (Kennedy, California Healthline, 1/14).

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