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Infection Prevention

This section provides you information on how we are working to ensure that the treatment you receive at Mercy goes as planned with no unexpected problems.

The Joint Commission has created some universal reporting (Core) measures to help compare hospitals on things that can reduce the chances of getting an infection. It gets posted on the Medicare website at regular intervals. Though it is somewhat historical (about 9 months old), it can show how well we are performing as compared to other Iowa and US hospitals.

Infection control

Keeping you healthy

Currently, 95 percent of Mercy employees have received their flu vaccine. 42 percent is the national average.

In working to keep you healthy, Mercy also has developed other initiatives to help reduce the spread of disease, including CAUTI, CDiff and environmental surveillance.

How Can We Help 

There are many ways we can help you not get an infection. If you have Pneumonia and are a patient at Mercy Medical Center , you may be offered an influenza vaccination (Oct-Apr) and  pneumococcal vaccination. If you are having a surgery, chances are, you will be given an antibiotic just before surgery and for a day after surgery.


Nationally 42% of healthcare workers will receive the annual influenza vaccination. Here at Mercy Medical Center we highly encourage our staff to receive the free vaccination in an order to protect our patients, visitors and coworkers. The more people vaccinated, the better our chance our environment is protected against allowing influenza to live and spread in our facility. 

It is no fun being sick. Each year one in 5 people in the United States gets the flu and many are hospitalized.

During the flu season, the CDC monitors positive cultures around the US. This tells us when we are at peak season. Peak will historically occur in February, but can arrive as early as November and as late as April (lasting through May). Our best defense is the vaccine.  

National Information

Because there are a lot of reasons you feel sick during the flu season, it is best to know what symptoms are related to the cold vs. flu.


MRSA, also known as Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus has been around for a long time in healthcare. We have antibiotics to combat this infection, but it remains a "Superbug" since it has learned to be resistant to many different antibiotics. In the past decade MRSA has learned to grow out in the community and infect healthy people, including our children and teenagers. This has caused a heightened frenzy around MRSA.  The good news is (1) there are treatment options and (2) MRSA is easy to remove with proper cleaning and disinfectants.

Community-acquired MRSA rates are steadily on the rise. If you go into the doctor for a skin infection, chances are they will culture they are looking for MRSA. CA-MRSA comes in the form of a diaper rash, infected pimple, "bug bite" or cut that is taking too long to heal or getting worse fast.

At Mercy Medical Center, we complete active surveillance cultures (ASC) on patients who may be at risk of carrying MRSA-these are called colonized patients. If you are told you are colonized, you do not have an infection; the bacteria lives on your skin but it is not causing you any harm. In most situations, you will not be treated with antibiotics to get rid of it. You can live the rest of your life with MRSA with the possibility you will never get an infection from it. The best literature available at the moment comes from the State of Washington, Living with MRSA. We encourage anyone with MRSA or who has a loved one with MRSA to read the booklet; it was made especially for you.