The importance of hospitals as a reservoir of infection was established more than 100 years ago. Hospital contagion remains a difficult problem despite major advances in aseptic technic, disinfection, and antimicrobial therapy. Physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators are well aware of these problems and are familiar with the need for rational procedures to reduce the hazard of nosocomial infection.1-5 The problem remains because of the insidious nature of staphylococcal and enterobacterial infection, the perpetuation of the reservoir of infection by hospital personnel and practices, and the inconsistencies of procedures designed to deal with the problem.
This report deals with hospital isolation practices in 17 community hospitals in Virginia and describes the methods now in use at the University of Virginia Hospital. These provide a uniformity in isolation care which allows physicians and nurses to work under minimal restriction, yet at the same time satisfy requirements of orderly procedure.