Two hundred fifty-two isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were tested for oxacillin susceptibility by MicroScan Gram positive overnight and rapid MIC panels. Results were compared with nonautomated methods including disk diffusion, MRSA Crystal ID, and Etests using MRSA Screen Agar as reference. One hundred sixty-nine isolates (67.1%) were oxacillin-susceptible and 83 (32.9%) were resistant. All methods agreed for 234 (92.9%) isolates. Very major error rates were 1.2% for disk diffusion, 3.6% for Etest, and 0 for all other methods. Major error rates were 5.3% for MicroScan overnight panels, 3% for rapid panels, 2.4% for disk diffusion, 1.2% for Etest, and 0.6% for MRSA Crystal ID. Nine oxacillin-susceptible isolates with borderline MICs and discrepant results for 1 or more methods were tested for the mec A gene and all were negative. Each was susceptible to beta lactam/beta lactamase inhibitor combinations, suggesting that false resistance may have been due to excessive beta lactamase production. Oxacillin-resistant S. aureus with borderline MICs determined by MicroScan should be confirmed by an alternate method. The most practical and cost-effective means among those we tested is the MRSA Screen Agar.