In a large clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at HCA Healthcare hospitals, an infection control technique reduced bloodstream infections by 31 percent and antibiotic-resistant bacteria by nearly 40 percent among non-intensive care unit patients with central-line catheters and lumbar drains. The ABATE Infection Trial evaluated whether daily bathing with the antiseptic soap chlorhexidine, and adding the nasal antibiotic mupirocin in those patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more effectively reduced hospital-acquired bacterial infections than bathing with ordinary soap and water. HCA has begun implementing the infection prevention protocol in its hospitals as a result. “This reflects HCA Healthcare’s commitment to be a true learning health care system,” said Jonathan Perlin, M.D., president of clinical services and chief medical officer at the health system and one of the study’s authors. Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the study “highlights the value of partnerships between academic investigators and health care delivery organizations.”

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