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CAUTI Prevention Measures A Challenge For Many

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 6:10am

Only 40 percent of infection control professionals indicated that more than three-quarters of the nurses at their facility were applying the CDC’s CAUTI prevention guidelines, and less than half reported that their facilities were conducting annual education and training on alternatives to catheterization, according to a recent survey.

The survey of infection control professionals was conducted at a forum on prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc. in conjunction with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Annual Scientific Meeting. Additionally, while nearly 80 percent of attendees cited CAUTI prevention as one of their facility's top priorities this year, almost half reported that they do not have an annual competency validation process for staff to assure that they are competent in CAUTI prevention measures and inserting Foley catheters.

“These results reaffirm the need for industry vendors to partner with healthcare providers on a comprehensive system that incorporates proper procedures and social behaviors that are easy to adopt in everyday practice,” said Lorri Downs, R.N., B.S.N., M.S., C.I.C., vice president of Infection Prevention at Medline and a board certified infection preventionist.

“Reducing CAUTI rates is not just about taking precautions. We must transfer knowledge to the bedside clinician in new ways such as through interactive learning and online competency validation courses to ensure industry guidelines become the standard course of care.”

That was the experience at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center. The organization did not have a formal education program in CAUTI prevention prior to implementing Medline's ERASE CAUTI program, but has seen significant results since it began using the evidence-based program three months ago. “Since we've been using the ERASE CAUTI program, our facility has experienced an almost 20 percent decrease in our CAUTI rate and a more than 10 percent decrease in the number of Foley catheters placed,” said Lisa Bridges, infection preventionist at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

CAUTI is one of the most common healthcare-associated infections, not only comprising 40 percent of all institutionally acquired infections, but also eight percent of infections in the home care setting. Studies show that one in four patients receives an indwelling urinary catheter at some point during their hospital stay and up to 50 percent of these catheters are placed unnecessarily.

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