Benicia, CA, March 25, 2008 - AcroMetrix, a leading provider of quality control products and services for clinical diagnostic laboratories, announced today the launch of the first standardized External Quality Control for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) molecular testing. The OptiQual MRSA Positive Control may be used to independently monitor all phases of MRSA DNA testing to ensure consistent and accurate results.
A study published October 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that MRSA infections resulted in the death of 18,650 out of 94,360 infected patients in the United States in 2005 – a death rate higher than that of HIV/AIDS in the same year. Since then, many efforts have been highlighted to urge state and federal lawmakers to enact a bill requiring all incoming hospital patients be screened for MRSA upon being admitted.
The costs involved when MRSA spreads through a hospital are staggering. The VA Medical Center of Pittsburgh estimated in September 2007 that nearly $35,000 is spent per patient in treatment for MRSA. In addition, the website for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services states that CMS is analyzing the need to adjust reimbursements for hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA.
“With the urgency currently associated with the MRSA screening, it is critical that hospitals are able to implement screening tests with the appropriate level of quality control,” said Michael J. Eck, President and CEO of AcroMetrix. “Many critical and costly treatment decisions will be based on the results of these tests so it is important for patients that the tests are properly monitored during all phases of the testing procedure.”
Each lab can help to maintain CLIA compliance for qualitative PCR tests such as those used to detect MRSA DNA by using the OptiQual MRSA Positive Control daily. These controls contain inactivated whole MRSA bacteria, providing a safer method of monitoring the entire PCR process, from extraction through amplification and detection. Convenient and ready to use, the OptiQual MRSA Positive Control is stored at refrigerated temperatures. This product is for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
OptiQual® is a registered trademark of AcroMetrix.