MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that lives on the skin and mucous membranes (nose) of healthy people. When this bacteria becomes resistant to certain antibiotics it is called MRSA.

Patients who contract MRSA will be placed under isolation precautions. It is important for all who enter the patient’s room, to follow all of the directions on the precaution sign posted outside the room. Using an alcohol-based hand rub or hand washing before and after contact with any patient is the best way you can help prevent the spread of MRSA.

STEGH posts its infection rates online on a monthly basis with new information posted on our site, and on the Ministry’s website, on the last day of every month.

Jump to a section below:

MRSA Rates at STEGH as Reported to the Ministry​​​​​​​


# of new cases of C. difficile
C. difficile Rate
July - September 2021
April - June 2021
January - March 2021


The MRSA bacteremia infection rate is calculated as a rate per 1,000 patient days. The “total patient days” represents the sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during the given time period.Infection Rate per 1,000 Patient Days

The rate is calculated as follows:

Number of nosocomial patients with laboratory identification of MRSA bacteraemia x 1000
Total number of patient days (for one month)

What does hospital-acquired mean?

Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they get infections while they are in the hospital. This is a hospital-acquired infection or a nosocomial infection. Usually it is MRSA, VRE or C. difficile.

Visit the Ministry of Health Care and Long-Term Care website to view other hospital's rates. If you have any questions about this information or about our hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact us.

STEGH takes your care and your safety very seriously and we are extremely committed to transparency. On a quarterly basis we will be reporting our infection rates on our website.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain or all types of the beta-lactam classes of antibiotics such as penicillins, penicillinase-resistant penicillins (e.g. cloxacillin) and cephalosporins. MRSA are strains of S. aureus that have an MIC to oxacillin of ≥ 4 mcg/ml. or contain the mecA gene coding for penicillin binding protein 2a (PBP 2a).

Risk factors for MRSA acquisition include invasive procedures, prior treatment with antibiotics, prolonged hospital stay, stay in an intensive care or burn unit, surgical wound infection and close proximity to a colonized person. MRSA can also be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk.

The single most important mode of transmission of MRSA in a health care setting is via transiently colonized hands of health care workers who acquire it from contact with colonized or infected patients, or after handling contaminated material or equipment. The unrecognized colonized patient presents a particular risk for transmission to other patients.

STEGH screens (obtains specimens) from all patients who meet set criteria (patients who are at risk of carrying or known to carry MRSA or VRE) in accordance to the best practice document established by the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) upon admission to our hospital. These specimens are sent to the lab for testing.

Treatment depends on how sick patients are with the disease. If a patient develops an MRSA or VRE infection, the physician will review the organism and order appropriate antibiotics to treat the infection. If a patient is identified to be positive for MRSA or VRE but does not have an infection, they will be placed under isolation to prevent the spread.

STEGH has Infection Prevention and Control policies and procedures that align with the PIDAC best practice document that provide the guiding principles for all patient interaction. Those principles include; Routine practice, Hand hygiene at POC, Additional isolation precautions to be put in place with any patient identified with MRSA and VRE. Additional housekeeping practices are put in place to ensure the environment is cleaned appropriately.

STEGH has implemented the ‘Just Clean Your Hands’ hand hygiene program. We audit our compliance with this program and share the results with staff so that we can identify any areas of improvement. STEGH audits our practices for isolation precautions and environmental cleaning to identify any areas for improvement. STEGH ensures patient equipment is dedicated to an isolation room or if needed to be removed is cleaned in accordance to best practice to prevent spread.

Prevention & Control

Unfortunately, like many hospitals in Ontario our size, on any given day, STEGH likely has patients in isolation with infectious diseases such as MRSA. Our focus on patient and staff safety includes a concerted effort in preventing and managing MRSA in this facility.

The STEGH Infection Control Committee has supported and recommended a number of strategies to minimize risk as outlined in our policies and procedures.

STEGH uses multiple controls to prevent the spread of MRSAwhich includes but is not limited to:

  • Hand hygiene facilitation: Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) has been strategically placed at Point of Care within the patient’s environment so that all care providers can easily access it. STEGH participated in the MOHLTC Just Clean Your Hands pilot and continues to emphasize hand hygiene practice as one of the key components to prevent spread.
  • Education: STEGH staff has been educated on the procedure for managing MRSA which is based on the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee’s (PIDAC) ARO Best Practice Guidelines. Infection Control practices are audited on a regular basis.
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The use of PPE (gown, and gloves) is required by all who enter the patient environment.
  • Isolation requirements: Our control measures include appropriate patient placement. Patients with MRSA will have a ‘Contact’ isolation sign posted outside their room that reviews all necessary instructions that must be followed by all as they enter and exit the patient room. The isolation signage provides a visible communication tool that prompts enhanced environmental cleaning.
  • Tracking MRSA: STEGH screens all patients known to have a history of MRSA, have risk factors for MRSA on admission to our hospital.
  • Environmental cleaning is ongoing using recommended germicides.
    • STEGH conducts daily room cleaning using a special disinfectant.
    • Our cleaning staff is well trained and is dedicated to keeping our hospital clean and safe for our patients.

Visit the Ministry of Health Care and Long-Term Care website to view other hospital's rates. If you have any questions about this information or about our hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact us.