Accreditation

Joint Commission focuses on CAUTI compliance

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, January 16, 2017

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In June, The Joint Commission made several changes to its catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG). All the changes go into effect on January 1, 2017 and are meant to improve staff training, educate patients, and update policies with evidence-based practices. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it wanted a 50% reduction in CAUTI by 2020.

What are the changes, and how will they affect hospitals?

EP 1: Educate staff
The first new element of performance (EP) is all on educating staff and licensed independent practitioners on how to correctly use and insert indwelling catheters. The EP says that staff need to be trained during their orientation or as soon as catheter insertion becomes one of their jobs.

Sue Dill Calloway RN, Esq., AD, BA, BSN, MSN, JD, CPHRM, CCMSCP, president of Patient Safety and Healthcare Consulting and Education, hopes that the revision will put a stop to some of the more egregious mistakes she’s seen at hospitals in recent years.

“A year and a half ago, a friend of mine came out of surgery and she had the catheter on her abdomen flowing backwards,” she says. “I said to the transport orderly ‘do you mind moving the fluid below her bladder line?’ He said ‘trust me it’s okay,’ and I said ‘trust me, it’s not okay.’ ”

During that same hospital visit she saw her friend’s Foley being left on the floor, then emptied incorrectly, and her catheter left unnecessarily after her surgery. And things like this, she says, aren’t uncommon occurrences in hospitals. She says some hospitals allow nursing assistants, without CAUTI training, to insert catheters. Her own hospital once experimented with this until they saw a corresponding rise in catheter infections.

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