TABLE 1.

Costs (in CHF) associated with MRSA screening by direct PCR according to three different algorithms

AlgorithmNo. of screening episodes for:Cost ofb:Savings of contact isolationdTotal costs
PCRCulturePCRCultureSecondary PCRc (n = 19)Secondary culturec (n = 19)
PCR for selected patientsa3425811,988.0018,476.001,620.001,077.0038,528.005,367.00
PCR for all patients258258104,328.0018,476.006,156.001,077.0038,528.0091,509.00
No PCR02580.0018,476.000.001,077.000.0019,553.00
  • a Selected patients included patients who shared a room with a newly detected MRSA carrier or who transferred from a geographical region with high MRSA prevalence and presented with risk factors for MRSA colonization, including skin lesions, intratracheal tube, tracheostoma, urinary catheter, or wound drainage.

  • b The costs were the following: (i) CHF 301.00 per patient day of preemptive isolation in a single room for an average of 4 days for patients without private insurance, (ii) CHF 162.00 per PCR test, and (iii) CHF 28.35 and 64.80 for negative and positive MRSA cultures, respectively. At the time of writing, CHF 1.00 corresponds to 0.61 euros and $0.82.

  • c Secondary costs refers to costs associated with the screening of patients who were in contact with any of the four MRSA carrier patients detected by screening. Of the 19 exposed patients, 4 qualified for preemptive contact isolation.

  • d Thirty-two of 34 patients had no private insurance and would have been transferred to a single room.