The Robert J. Dole Medical Center credits screening all incoming patients with nose swabs. It isolates those who test positive for a staph germ called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
The measures were introduced in March 2007 at VA medical centers across the nation. In August, the Wichita hospital also began using them in its nursing home.
Peggy Hopkins, who coordinates staph-prevention efforts at the hospital, says it now has from four to six patients in isolation at any given time.
Other Wichita hospitals also report a decrease in staph infections by testing high-risk patients.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)