Hospitals should follow three strategies to reduce the risk of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), according to recommendations published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
UTIs are among the most common hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and indwelling urethral catheters cause between 70 and 80 percent of them, according to the recommendations, "A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates." Between 12 and 16 percent of adult hospital inpatients require a urinary catheter at some point during admission.
"Because of the widespread use of catheters, urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections acquired by patients," said lead author Evelyn Lo, M.D., in a statement. "These strategies will help hospitals implement best practices for CAUTI prevention to curb catheter overuse and misuse, and foster a culture of accountability from the C-Suite to the front lines of medical care."
The recommended strategies include:
Restrict insertion to dedicated, trained personnel
Prevent catheter overuse by educating healthcare professionals on alternatives to catheters and encouraging them to determine whether a catheter is necessary on a case-by-case basis
Create programs to highlight effective infection-prevention strategies and where there is room for improvement
"Although substantial progress has been achieved, considerable deficiencies remain in our ability to efficiently and effectively translate knowledge about HAI prevention into reliable, sustainable practice," Deborah Yokoe, M.D., who helped develop the recommendations, wrote in the statement. "The Compendium focuses on an integrated approach to infection prevention and control, steeped in science and scaled to facilitate adoption of the practices and improve the quality of care for patients."
A study earlier this year revealed that most hospitals lack the staff or guidelines to prevent CAUTI, even though they are the most common HAI, and adherence to prevention policies was only between 6 and 27 percent, FierceHealthcare previously reported.