Data obtained in the first two phases of the Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control (SENIC Project) indicate that in 1975 three-quarters of U.S. hospitals performed environmental culturing on a routine basis; however, between 1970 and 1975, one-quarter had reduced the extent of environmental culturing permanently. Large hospitals (≥ 200 beds) and those with an infection control nurse who had completed a training course in hospital epidemiology were more likely to have reduced the extent of culturing. In 1976-1977 hospitals that performed such culturing collected an average of 500 environmental cultures per year, whereas larger hospitals and those with an infection control nurse collected significantly fewer cultures. Only 28 percent of the approximately two million environmental cultures collected in U.S. hospitals in 1975 were indicated by recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Hospital Association current at the time.
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