HAI Types

When One is Too Many: One Hospital's Strategies to Reduce CAUTI

July 11, 2016

The reporting of any type of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is difficult.  First, it indicates our patients have experienced a complication. Second, for an acute-care facility, we consistently have a low denominator; therefore any HAI has a significant impact on an infection rate that is publically reportable. This hospital was pleased to report an infection rate of zero for catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) for more than two years.  Unfortunately, in 2015, three of our patients experienced a CAUTI which dramatically increased the reported infection rate and raised important concerns. Urinary tract infections are the most common type of HAI reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network, with more than 75 percent of those UTIs being catheter associated. The literature tells us that the impact of these infections includes increased length of stay, increased costs, unnecessary antimicrobial use, and is the leading cause of secondary bloodstream infections which results in increased mortality rates. Determining the cause for the increase in infections experienced at this facility and developing strategies to decrease these HAIs became a priority.

Infection Prevention Programs: Promoting Value, Securing Resources

June 20, 2016

Promoting the value of infection prevention programs and securing the resources necessary to ensure the continued viability of such programs has become an imperative for the infection preventionist (IP) in the era of healthcare reform and increased demands on IPs' time. A new guidance document aims to provide an updated assessment of the resources and requirements for an effective infection prevention and control/healthcare epidemiology (IPC/HE) program.

Measles, Mumps and Missing the Moment

June 20, 2016

From the front of the hospital classroom I saw the indifferent stares of 30 nurse residents. These first year nurses were participating in an employer sponsored program to facilitate their transition into clinical role as well as to support retention which is often unfortunately poor during this critical period in a professional RN career. However well-intended the residency program was, the lack of enthusiasm for my upcoming infection prevention update was unmistakable. As a long-time infection preventionist (IP), this was not particularly surprising, as few trainees seek out prevention content unless there is an imminent threat or some other infectious crisis. Overcoming such learner apathy – including the anticipated “we’ve heard this all before” attitude – is endemic to the infection prevention educational environment.

Toolkit Aims to Prevent CLABSIs in the Home-Care Setting

June 15, 2016

A new toolkit offers practical approaches and tools for home-care professionals and hospital acute-care providers to systematically assess the risks for and reduce the incidence of central line–associated bloodstream infections in patient

The Question of Safety? Collaboration is Key

June 3, 2016

Infection prevention continues to be an issue that is top of mind for GI professionals. When thinking of gastroenterology infection prevention, it traditionally has been in terms of reprocessing endoscopes and post-procedure patient phone call to assess for infections. Infection prevention for GI encompasses so much more than those two tasks — it includes correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), personal hygiene, engineering controls of the physical environment, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, training, continuing education, written operating procedures, and of course documentation. Earlier this year, SGNA released practice documents focused on infection prevention. The new document, Standard of Infection Prevention in the Gastroenterology Setting, brings to light an important point that is often overlooked when we discuss infection prevention: Prevention for the whole team.