London Health Sciences Centre's MRSA/VRE bacteremia rates


For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2008


(LONDON, Ontario) – Last week London Health Sciences Centre posted its quarterly rates for MRSA and VRE bacteremias. Today the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care posted the MRSA and VRE rates for all hospitals in Ontario as a part of their public reporting initiative. This initial reporting period covers the months of September, October and November.

“London Health Sciences Centre welcomes the opportunity to continue participating in the Ministry’s public reporting initiative and supports the public release of this information,” said chief operating officer Sandy Whittall. “We have a commitment to public accountability and patient safety; this helps in furthering that commitment.”

University Hospital’s MRSA rate – as calculated per 1,000 patient days – was 0.19 with six reported cases. At Victoria Hospital, the calculated rate was 0.20 with eight reported cases. LHSC’s South Street Hospital had a rate of zero with zero reported cases.

The VRE rate at University Hospital was zero with zero reported cases. At Victoria Hospital, the rate was 0.08 with three reported cases and at South Street Hospital the rate was zero with zero reported cases.

LHSC considers these rates to be high, and is working hard to understand all the contributing factors involved and to lower the rates.

“At LHSC we have rigorous infection control practices and policies” said Dr. Michael John, medical director, infection prevention and control. “Though we are seeing some recent improvements in our rates of MRSA and VRE, we’re taking additional steps to reach our targets.”

An auditing tool for cleaning processes has recently been installed to help identify if there are areas for improvement, and a recent hand hygiene audit showed an increase in hand washing compliance at LHSC.

Though reporting of infection rates is now mandatory in Ontario, LHSC has had monitoring programs and auditing tools, with regular reports to staff and leadership, in place for several years. LHSC works closely with the Middlesex London Health Unit and welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with the health unit to review our surveillance and infection prevention and control measures.

LHSC’s infection control program carefully monitors rates of infection in order to improve our infection control processes, and implement strategies to reduce the incidence of infection in our hospitals.

For complete information on MRSA and VRE rates at LHSC, please visit

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

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For more information contact:

Sarah Corrigan
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 77062

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call