Other Healthcare Associated Infections Measures

Related Measures

VRE Incidence

What are we measuring and why?

MGH tracks the rate of new hospital-acquired cases of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, or VRE. Enterococcus is a bacteria and vancomycin is an antibiotic. VRE can cause infections in the urinary track, bloodstream, and wounds. Vulnerable patients include those who have been treated with vancomycin and combinations of other antibiotics, particularly if they received those antibiotics for a long period of time; people with weakened immune systems; people who have had surgical procedures; and those who have had invasive devices for some period of time.

How are we doing and how do we compare to best practice?

MGH has been tracking performance on this measure for many years. Our current performance of 0.60 new cases per 1000 patient days is above the MGH 2014 average of 0.43 cases per thousand patient days, but not yet at our internal goal of zero new cases. There are no national targets or benchmarks for this safety measure; however, MGH’s goal is to achieve sustained reductions in the number of new cases each year.

  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Lower values are better
0.43% 0.6%

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MGH Infection Control data

Oct-Dec 2015 data.

0.37% 0.36% 0.58% 0.43% 0.37% 0.6% 0.58% 0.38% 0.61% 0.61% 0.61% 0.61% 0.43% 0.43% 0.43% 0.43%

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MGH Infection Control data

What are we doing to improve?

MGH's VRE rate has remained at a comparatively low rate with regular fluctuation over the past several years. Improvement in hand hygiene practice have not reduced the VRE rate as succesfully as it has the MRSA rate.  Scientific literature suggest that the environment may contribute to the spread of VRE more so than healthcare workers' hands. As a result, efforts to reduce this rate further include a focus on daily cleaning in addition to:

  • Surveillance systems to track bacterial outbreaks
  • Isolation of infected patients and use of protective garments and other precaution technique

What can you do?

Patients and their families can help protect themselves from VRE and other hospital-acquired infections by being vigilant.

Before you let anyone touch a family member, ask them whether they cleaned their hands. Don’t be shy about it; it’s your health that’s at stake.


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