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Enterococci are bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tract (bowels) of most individuals and generally do not cause harm. Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) are strains of the enterococci bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic Vancomycin. VRE can either live in the bowel 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 blood stream infections. VRE infections can be challenging to treat because the bacteria can be resistant to some antibiotics.
This indicator shows the rate of newly diagnosed hospital-assosiated VRE 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 VRE 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. VRE 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 VRE can be found here