SECTION 1. Section 51H of chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:–
(e) The Department of Public Health shall promulgate regulations requiring Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (“MRSA”) screening of high-risk patients, as defined by the department, upon admission to a healthcare facility. The department definition of high-risk patients may include the following:
(1) The patient has documented medical conditions making them more susceptible to infection and is scheduled for an inpatient surgery.
(2) The patient has been documented as having been previously discharged from a general acute hospital within the past 30 days prior to the current hospital admission.
(3) The patient is being admitted to either the intensive care unit or the burn unit within the healthcare facility.
(4) The patient receives inpatient dialysis treatment.
(5) The patient is being transferred from a nursing facility.
When MRSA is identified, the healthcare facility shall notify the patient and establish necessary precautions as determined by the department including but not limited to:
(1) Isolation of identified MRSA-colonized or MRSA-infected patients.
(2) Monitoring and strict enforcement of hand hygiene requirements with MRSA-colonized or MRSA-infected patients.
Healthcare facilities shall report data and information about MRSA-colonized or MRSA-infected patients to the department and the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction. Reports shall be made in the manner and form established by the department in its regulations.
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