Massachusetts General Hospital: The Infection Control


As noted by Orcutt, fifteen beds in the hospital’s semi-private, two-room patients, were closed due to contact restrictions and infection control methods adopted to prevent patients with certain resistant bacteria from infecting other patients. These beds were considered closed, and were not counted in the hospital’s operational occupancy measurement, but Orcutt realized that opening them might loosen the system’s restrictions (Huckman & Trichakis, 2014). He dialled the MGH Division of Communicable Diseases and Infection Prevention and Control Unit’s Dr Erica Shenoy to find out if any of the 15 patients sleeping in the beds next to the ones who were locked were likely to be taken off contact precautions anytime soon.

Despite MGH’s newly formed trial program that enabled health client checks under specified standards, the ED to determine if those preventative measures may be abandoned, the majority of the patients identified had not been tested. Shenoy discovered this after evaluating the records of the patients. Those patients continued to be on contact precautions even without a diagnostic test because they had previously returned positive for illness or colonization (Huckman & Trichakis, 2013). Shenoy saw that despite one of the victims having visited the ED two- three times in the previous month for treatment, that patient had only undergone screening once.

Massachusetts General Hospital

MGH, like other major hospitals, was concerned about managing and reducing the transmission of infectious illnesses that may be spread from person to person or through institutional surfaces that exposed patients to the outside world. Many individuals had certain resistant bacteria “colonized” them long before they arrived at the hospital. However, being colonized by germs meant that a patient had those microorganisms throughout his or her system and was not ill when admitted. The prevention and control of the dangers posed by HAIs are under the purview of the MGH Infection Prevention and Control Unit (Huckman & Trichakis, 2013). Dr David Hooper’s IC Unit was in charge of detecting and monitoring patients who had current or past infections with particular microorganisms, including MRSA.

Patients who were colonized with specific organisms were more likely to experience active infection, which is known as a healthcare-associated illness (HAI) if it happens after a hospital visit. Close proximity to colonized or sick patients, as well as familiar health workers who—if necessary infection control procedures are not followed. This was discovered to spread germs on their hands, clothing, and stethoscopes, allowing bacterial colonization to disseminate inside a hospital. The risk of shifting from colonization to infestation was most significant when medical tests in the hospital created the possibility for microbes to enter the body.


The CRC was tasked with starting the study, screening the subjects, organizing research visits, collecting and processing specimens, data input, and regulatory document maintenance. The CRCs could be used to carry out the whole process of screening MRSA patients. This could include getting the text page, encouraging patients about previous antibiotic exposure, and more, recording their reaction, taking a swab of them, and sending the sample out for examination (Huckman & Trichakis, 2013). Since CRCs lack the necessary authorization to write patient orders, they would also be in charge of locating the attending physician who would be required to sign the order for a swab.


Huckman, R. S., & Trichakis, N. (2014). Infection Control at Massachusetts General Hospital. Harvard Business School Case 614-044.

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