Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a type of bacteria that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. When S. aureus develops resistance to certain antibiotics, it is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. MRSA can either live on the skin or mucous membranes (e.g. nose) of a person without causing harm (called colonization), or it can enter the body through artificial openings (e.g. wounds, IV lines) and cause infections like bloodstream infections. MRSA infections can be challenging to treat because the bacteria are resistant to some antibiotics.
This indicator shows the rate of newly diagnosed hospital-assosiated MRSA bacteraemia (bloodstream infection). Hospital-acquired (or hospital-associated) infections are infections that patients can get while admitted to the hospital for treatment. They are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety.
Measuring, monitoring, and reporting MRSA bacteraemia rates is one part of a comprehensive Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) program. The information gathered can assist hospitals with evaluating the effectiveness of their IPAC interventions and make further improvements based on this information.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) introduced public reporting as part of a comprehensive plan to improve transparency and accountability related to hospital care. MRSA bacteraemia data is entered monthly into the MOHLTC Self Reporting Initiative website, and cases are reported to the public on a quarterly basis.
More information about MRSA can be found here