Be compliant before 2017: Cutting CAUTI rates in half

Accreditation Insider, March 29, 2016

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On January 1, 2017, The Joint Commission’s newest National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) will go into effect, with facilities expected to cut the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The accreditor has already released its CAUTI prepublication standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers online.

What can healthcare facilities do before then to improve CAUTI compliance?

Kerri Scanlon, RN, MSN, is the chief nursing officer at the North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in New York. In 2015 her facility decided to make catheter care compliance a goal, aiming to decrease CAUTI rates by 25%.

“When we started the CAUTI project at the hospital, we had 82 patients with infections in our critical care environment,” she told HealthLeaders Media. “We are now at the end of 2015 at 20 patients with a CAUTI. We are saving lives.” 

To cut CAUTI rates, the hospital implemented four key prevention techniques recommended by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ):

1.    Before insertion, have staff pause and validate the need for a Foley catheter.

2.    Involve a second person during insertion to facilitate aseptic techniques.

3.    Evaluate a patient’s need for a catheter on a daily basis.

4.    Empower the nursing staff to discontinue catheter use as soon as possible.

Scanlon and her team also held reeducation classes and programs for their staff on proper catheter insertion practices and aseptic techniques such as perineal care. The project also involved creating 188 nurse “champions” in critical care areas, to make sure proper CAUTI guidelines were followed.
In just one year, NSUH’s program has made noticeable improvements:

•    Foley catheter device days have decreased 22.5% from 2012 to 2015, with a 73% reduction in critical care CAUTIs.

•    The hospital’s standardized infection ratio is now at 0.57, which is better than the 0.85 threshold CMS requires.

•    CAUTI reductions have saved an estimated $522,000 between 2012 and 2015.

Read the full article on cutting CAUTI rates at HealthLeaders Media. 

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