Hospitals are working harder than ever to prevent hospital-acquired infections, but a nationwide survey shows few are aggressively combating the most common one – catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
In the survey by the University of Michigan Health System and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare Center, as many as 90 percent of U.S. hospitals surveyed increased use of methods to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia, between 2005 and 2009.
But prevention practices for urinary tract infections were regularly used by only a minority of hospitals, according to the survey published online today ahead of print in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
"Despite being the most common healthcare-associated infection in the country, hospitals appear not to be using as many practices for prevention when compared with bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia," says senior author Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H., director of the VA/UM Patient Safety Enhancement Program, and U-M professor of internal medicine.
Using reminders to remove the catheter, cleaning the insertion site and avoiding indwelling devices by using appropriate alternatives are all ways hospitals can reduce infection risk.
Still, each year, 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients get a hospital-acquired infection, resulting in about $45 billion in health care costs. But in 2008, Medicare stopped paying non-federal hospitals for the additional costs of treating infections which are considered preventable with the right care.
"The actual impact of the no-payment rule appears limited given the fact that hospitals not affected by the rule change, such as VA hospitals, also increased their use of infection practices," says lead study author Sarah L. Krein, Ph.D., R.N., a VA research scientist and U-M associate general medicine professor.
There are likely other factors such as the introduction of practice guidelines and infection prevention collaboratives that contributed as much, if not more, to the increased use of certain infection prevention practices, she says.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection is one of the no-payment conditions "but until recently there were no large-scale educational efforts or prevention guidelines created for this type of infection," Krein says.
The study was funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.
Guidance is available from the VA Ann Arbor Health Services Research and Development for patients and hospitals on what practices to use to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
If a patient has a urinary catheter, what can they do to prevent infection?
Ask your doctor or your nurse every day if your urinary catheter is still necessary. The sooner it is removed, the lower your risk of infection and the sooner you can increase your mobility.
Make certain you know how to care for your urinary catheter and keep it clean. If you do not know how to do this, please ask your nurse or doctor. Wash where the catheter enters your body every day with soap and water.
Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub before and after touching your urinary catheter.
The urine drainage bag from your urinary catheter should stay lower than your bladder (your bladder is just below your belly button) at all times to prevent the urine from flowing back up into your bladder. This helps to prevent infection. If you notice that your drainage bag is too high, tell your nurse.
ore details are available online at www.catheterout.org.
Shantell M. Kirkendoll | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine