Minimising the risk of MRSA infections with remote digital screening


19 September 2022

MRSA has been a major problem for healthcare settings for many years and it continues to cause serious illness worldwide. Roughly 171,200 healthcare-associated MRSA infections occur in the EU annually, causing over 1 million excess days of hospitalisation and £380 million excess in-hospital costs. By employing remote pre-operative screening, these numbers could be significantly lower. 

What is MRSA?

  • MRSA is a type of bacteria that's resistant to several widely used antibiotics. This means it is harder to treat. You might have heard it called a "superbug"
  • MRSA infections mainly affect people who are staying in hospital
  • Healthy people are not usually at risk of MRSA infections

Cancelled surgeries cost the UK NHS £400 million annually

Patients who are MRSA positive on admission to hospital won’t have time to be treated for it, causing last-minute cancellation of surgery slots. While MRSA infections are not the sole cause, surgery cancellations are a major issue in the UK NHS and other healthcare systems - lost operating theatre time costs £400 million annually. Remote MRSA screening would address this problem by identifying red-flag patients much sooner, leaving sufficient time to complete the treatment needed before the scheduled operation.

Why do hospitals need to switch to remote MRSA screening?

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated why hospitals need to minimise face-to-face appointments and use remote digital diagnostics ahead of surgery. This would remove any contact between potentially infectious patients and healthcare professionals, minimising the risk of transmission and avoiding costly outbreaks. The swabbing procedure is simple and can easily be conducted by patients at home, reducing unnecessary hospital appointments and making the process more time efficient for staff. 

Dr Jonathan Andrews, Chief Medical Officer at Certific: “Without more remote screening and treatment for MRSA, the problem isn’t going away and hospitals will face higher costs, patients and staff will face the risk of serious illness and the pressure on healthcare systems will increase at a time when they can least afford it.”

How does Certific fit in?

To make sure at-home MRSA testing is effective, the procedure must be verified. Certific’s remote MRSA pre-operative service does just that. Combining screening with Certific’s unique process verification technology makes sure that preoperative tests are conducted to medical standards. This can minimise the risk of MRSA infections which are expensive to treat and possibly litigate. It also helps hospitals achieve NHS targets to increase the number of virtual solutions available to patients and to reduce the burden on healthcare systems that are already close to maximum capacity. 

Would you like to learn more about our remote MRSA screening?