Evaluation of a successful vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus prevention intervention in a community of health care facilities

Annette H. Sohn, Belinda E. Ostrowsky, Ronda L. Sinkowitz-Cochran, Stephen B. Quirk, William R. Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: In April 1997, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) emerged in several health care facilities in the Siouxland region and a VRE Task Force was formed. From 1997 through 1999, an evaluation of VRE prevalence at 30 facilities was performed. Methods: In 1999, we conducted a survey and focus groups of health care workers to address initial reactions to VRE, feasibility of the Task Force recommendations, and lessons learned. Results: Personnel at 29 (97%) facilities surveyed completed the questionnaire, and 15 health care workers from 11 facilities participated in 5 focus groups. The outcomes of expanded education and improved awareness of VRE for patients and health care workers were ranked the No. 1 priority overall and by long-term care facility personnel. Respondents agreed that Task Force recommendation adherence had significantly improved infection control (83%) and that the Task Force was an appropriate mechanism to coordinate infection control efforts (90%). Focus groups commented that it was most difficult to educate family members about VRE; they expressed concern about variation between VRE policies, especially between acute care and long-term care facilities, and about the quality of life of isolated patients. Conclusions: Our data illustrate that this intervention has been far-reaching and include the development of a health care infrastructure that may be used as a model to address additional health care issues (eg, emerging pathogens or biological threats).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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