The hip fracture best practice tariff: early surgery and the implications for MRSA screening and antibiotic prophylaxis.
Background: In April 2010, the Department of Health introduced the hip fracture best practice. Among the clinical criteria required to earn remuneration is surgery within 36 h of admission. However, early surgery may mean that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation status is not known before surgery, and therefore, appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis may not be administered. In view of this, our department's policy is to administer an additional dose of teicoplanin to patients with unknown MRSA status along with routine antimicrobial prophylaxis. Aim: The purpose of this study was to provide a safe and effective antimicrobial prophylaxis for hip fracture patients. Methods: We prospectively collected details of demographics and antimicrobial prophylaxis for all patients admitted with a hip fracture in November 2011. This was repeated in February 2012 after an educational and advertising drive to improve compliance with departmental antimicrobial policy. Microbiology results were obtained from the hospital microbiology database. A cost-benefit analysis was undertaken to assess this regime. Results: A total of 144 hip fracture patients were admitted during the 2 months. The average admission to surgery time was 32 h, and the average MRSA swab processing time was 35 h. 86 % of patients reached theatre with unknown MRSA status. Compliance with the departmental antimicrobial policy improved from 25 % in November 2011 to 76 % in February 2012. Potential savings of £ 40,000 were calculated. Conclusion: With best practice tariff resulting in 86 % of patients reaching theatre with unknown MRSA status, we advocate an additional single dose of teicoplanin to cover against possible MRSA colonisation.
- Orthopaedics 
Bryson, David J.