Amanda Crowson, MPH, RN, CPH, CIC, is a highly accomplished infection preventionist at AdventHealth Tampa that has been recognized for her research on implementing perineal care practices to minimize the occurrence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).
At the 2023 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Conference and Exhibition, held June 26 to 28 in Orlando, Florida, Amanda Crowson, MPH, RN, CPH, CIC, was honored by APIC with the esteemed New Investigator Award. The New Investigator Award bestowed upon Crowson exemplifies her dedication, expertise, and commitment to enhancing patient safety and health care excellence.
Following a thorough gap analysis, Crowson and colleagues observed considerable variability in the practice of cleansing the perineal area. Recognizing this as a critical area for improvement, it became the primary focus of their intervention. In April 2021, they adopted pre-packaged meatal and perineal cleansing cloths instead of traditional multi-use bath basins for perineal care. Their work was presented on a poster.
The investigation spanned 24 months, divided equally into 12 months before the implementation and 12 months after. This balanced timeline allowed for a comprehensive analysis of the effects and outcomes associated with implementing the new perineal care process. Crowson and colleagues aimed to observe a decrease in the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) to measure the effectiveness of their new strategy.
During the initial 12-month phase preceding the intervention, AdventHealth Tampa identified and documented 25 cases of CAUTIs, resulting in an incidence rate of 1.19 CAUTIs per 1,000 catheter days. However, during the subsequent 12-month post-intervention study phase, only 11 CAUTIs were identified, corresponding to a reduced incidence rate of 0.56 CAUTIs per 1,000 catheter days. This signifies a notable 56% decrease in CAUTIs following the implementation of the intervention. Notably, the reduction in CAUTI rates after the intervention was statistically significant, as indicated by a p-value of 0.034. These findings highlight the substantial impact of implementing pre-packaged meatal and perineal cleansing cloths on reducing CAUTIs.
CAUTI prevention is paramount for hospitals to protect patient safety and promote health outcomes. Infection preventionists such as Crowson play a crucial and invaluable role in preventing CAUTIs. Their expertise, knowledge, and dedication are instrumental in implementing effective strategies to reduce the occurrence of CAUTIs and promote optimal patient outcomes. Infection preventionists can utilize gap analysis to identify gaps in practices and policies related to CAUTI prevention.
Her biggest takeaway for other infection preventionists regarding her abstract is to always follow up with frontline staff and engage with hospital leadership. Infection preventionists must rely on more than medical record documentation but also to complete observations with staff regarding CAUTI prevention. Hospital leadership must look at more than just outcomes such as infection rates and focus on compliance regarding prevention efforts such as perineal care. Practices can provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to the occurrence of infections.
Crowson told Infection Control Today (ICT) she was inspired to submit her abstract because of her Direction of Infection Prevention, Kay Sams, RN, MPH, CIC, FAPIC. The guidance and support infection prevention leaders provide play a crucial role in fostering IP teams' professional development and advancement. With an impressive career as an infection preventionist spanning over 9 years, Crowson started her professional journey at AdventHealth Tampa in Florida, where she completed her field experience while a Master of Public Health student at the University of South Florida. She has dedicated herself to the field of infection prevention and even returned to school to become a registered nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crowson told ICT that she is passionate about patient safety and has enjoyed seeing the research being contributed to the field during the 2023 APIC Conference.