Press Release

August 20, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich signs legislation to help prevent and control infections in health care facilities

 Law requires assessment, control and prevention of multi-drug resistant organisms in hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today to help protect the health of people in hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities against infection. House Bill 192, sponsored by State Representative Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) and State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to create rules to reduce rates of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), and other “super bugs.”

“People should feel confident that when they go to a hospital, a nursing home or other health facility for medical care, they will not end up worse off with a dangerous infection. This bill will help make sure facilities are safe and clean, and will help reduce the risk of infection for patients,” said Gov. Blagojevich.

HB 192 aims to reduce the rising number of MDROs, such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and other “super bugs.” MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems.

The law will require healthcare facilities regulated or licensed by IDPH, as well as mental health and developmentally disabled facilities the Illinois Department of Human Services oversees, to perform annual facility-wide infection control risk assessments; develop infection control policies for MDROs; enforce hand hygiene and contact precaution requirements; and incorporate any updated MDRO prevention and control recommendations issued by the CDC.

“House Bill 192 is a comprehensive bill because it addresses all MDROs, and not just MRSAs. I thank the Governor for signing this bill that will help the State keep Illinoisans healthier and safer,” said Rep. Flowers.

The bill calls for IDPH to:

  • Publicize guidelines for reducing the incidence of MDROs and provide periodic reports and updates based on news developments.
  • Publish a yearly report on MRSA and Clostridium difficile – another multi-drug resistant organism.
  • Report MDRO infections that lead to specific bloodstream infections and pneumonia in the Hospital Report Card.
  • Implement surveillance for community-acquired MRSA infections for at least three years.

HB 192 goes into effect immediately.

The Governor also signed Senate Bill 233, sponsored by Senator Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and State Representative Patricia Bellock (R-Hinsdale). SB 233 also aims to address the rising number of MRSA infections in hospitals, by requiring all hospitals to screen all patients in intensive care units (ICUs) and other “at-risk patients” identified by the hospital for MRSA. Those patients found to have a MRSA infection or to be carriers of MRSA are then to be isolated, which is common hospital procedure.

SB 233 goes info effect immediately.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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