New Law Specifies MRSA Screening Requirements

MDs must notify patients immediately about positive results

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new law regarding hospital acquired infections, called Senate Bill 1058. This bill outlines specific requirements of hospitals and physicians regarding expanded inpatient screening for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well requirements for patient notification and education by physicians and by the hospital.

Cedars-Sinai has already had a screening program in place for several years to track multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) to prevent transmission of these difficult to treat organisms. The medical center has incorporated the new mandates specific to MRSA screening with very little modification in the existing process.

"A significant impact of the law is the requirement that physicians must notify patients 'immediately or as soon as practicably possible' of a new positive MRSA result and document the notification in the medical record," said Rekha Murthy, M.D., hospital epidemiologist. "Additionally, the medical center is required to provide the patient with oral and written instruction regarding aftercare and precautions to prevent the spread of the infection to others."

The law also requires all medical staff be provided education about prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) with hospital-specific information, new legislative requirements, and physician and hospital responsibilities.

Below, you'll find a link to a PDF with information about Cedars-Sinai’s HAI programs and policies, as well as other guidelines for management of MRSA screening results and copies of the education material that will be given out by the nursing staff to patients.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Dr. Murthy at rekha.murthy@cshs.org or one of the Epidemiology Nurses at (310) 423-5574. Please visit the Epidemiology Intranet site (found under "Clinical") for more information.

Cedars-Sinai Healthcare Associated Infections