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Since the initial publication of A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals in 2008, the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has continued to be a national priority. Progress in healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, antimicrobial stewardship, and implementation science research has led to improvements in our understanding of effective strategies for HAI prevention. Despite these advances, HAIs continue to affect ∼1 of every 31 hospitalized patients,1 leading to substantial morbidity, mortality, and excess healthcare expenditures,1 and persistent gaps remain between what is recommended and what is practiced.
The widespread impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on HAI outcomes2 in acute-care hospitals has further highlighted the essential role of infection prevention programs and the critical importance of prioritizing efforts that can be sustained even in the face of resource requirements from COVID-19 and future infectious diseases crises.3
The Compendium: 2022 Updates document provides acute-care hospitals with up-to-date, practical expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing HAI prevention efforts. It is the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), the Surgical Infection Society (SIS), and others.
The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist physicians, nurses, and infection preventionists at acute-care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates the Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute-Care Hospitals published in 2014. It is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and The Joint Commission.
The ways that device-associated infection prevention practices changed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remain unknown. We collected data mid-pandemic to assess the use of several infection prevention practices and for comparison with historical data.
Repeated cross-sectional survey.
US acute-care hospitals.
We surveyed infection preventionists from a national random sample of 881 US acute-care hospitals in 2021 to estimate the current use of practices to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), and ventilator-associated events (VAE). We compared the 2021 results with those from surveys occurring every 4 years since 2005.
The 2021 survey response rate was 47%; previous survey response rates ranged from 59% to 72%. Regular use of most practices to prevent CLABSI (chlorhexidine gluconate for site antisepsis, 99.0%, and maximum sterile barrier precautions, 98.7%) and VAE (semirecumbent positioning, 93.4%, and sedation vacation, 85.8%) continued to increase or plateaued in 2021. Conversely, use of several CAUTI prevention practices (portable bladder ultrasound scanner, 65.6%; catheter reminders or nurse-initiated discontinuation, 66.3%; and intermittent catheterization, 37.3%) was lower in 2021, with a significant decrease for some practices compared to 2017 (P ≤ .02 for all comparisons). In 2021, 42.1% of hospitals reported regular use of the newer external urinary collection devices for women.
Although regular use of CLABSI and VAE preventive practices continued to increase (or plateaued), use of several CAUTI preventive practices decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Structural issues relating to care during the pandemic may have contributed to a decrease in device-associated infection prevention practices.
Background: Urinary catheters, vascular catheters, and wounds, such as pressure injuries are often hidden from view under gowns and sheets (ie, out of sight, out of mind), contributing to prolonged catheter use, infections, delayed interventions, and diagnostic errors for symptoms (eg, fever or delirium) related to catheters and wounds. We developed and pilot tested a digital bedside Patient Safety Display of catheter and wound information to improve awareness by rounding providers (ie, physicians and advanced practice providers, APPs). Methods: The display development was informed by clinical observations of provider rounds and nurse handoffs, interviews, and iterative prototype testing with clinicians in simulated cases using catheterized mannequins with wounds. The display reports the presence and duration of urinary and vascular catheter use, urinary catheter indication, and wound presence and severity, from real-time mandatory nurse documentation in the electronic medical record (Fig. 1). We conducted a pilot study in a tertiary-care medical-surgical step-down unit with 20 private rooms, including a preintervention period and a postintervention period including 10 rooms without the display (control rooms) and 10 rooms with the display (intervention rooms). We surveyed individual providers directly after rounds to assess their awareness of their patients’ catheters and wounds compared to medical record documentation. We also assessed display utility and usability from postintervention clinician interviews and we identified major themes using an adapted grounded theory approach. Results: In total, 787 surveys were completed: 681 medicine service with 89% response rate, 106 surgery service with 47% response rate; 363 preintervention surveys, and 424 postintervention surveys. The surveys involved 176 unique patients and 47 unique providers. Among all 787 patient encounters, 156 (19.8%) had a transurethral indwelling urinary catheter (Foley), 314 (39.9%) had a central venous catheter (including PICCs), and 247 (31.4%) had at least 1 pressure injury. Figure 2 summarizes provider awareness of catheters and pressure injuries when present as assessed for patients in the preintervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, 13 clinician postintervention interviews yielded preliminary themes regarding the display’s benefits and limitations (Fig. 3). Conclusions: In this pilot study of a novel Patient Safety Display, although provider awareness of Foley catheters, CVCs, and pressure injuries appeared higher for patients in the intervention rooms compared to awareness as measured in the preintervention rooms and/or postintervention control rooms, most of these comparisons did not meet statistical significance. Clinicians varied widely in their personal assessments of the display as a useful tool for improving awareness and prompting discussion about catheters and wounds.
Funding: This work was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant P30HS024385. Dr. Meddings’ effort was initially partially funded by concurrent support from AHRQ (K08 HS19767).
Disclosures: Dr. Meddings has reported receiving honoraria for lectures and teaching related to prevention and value-based purchasing policies involving catheter-associated urinary tract infection. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.
Background: A robust infection prevention infrastructure is critical for creating a safe resident environment in nursing homes. The CDC NHSN provides a standardized approach to infection surveillance and analysis, which can drive internal quality improvement efforts in nursing homes and could serve as an indicator of facilities’ infection prevention aptitude. The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics of nursing homes enrolled to those not enrolled in the NHSN, including interfacility communication methods, as an essential part of reducing resident infection-related risks. Methods: Over a 2-year period, 50 nursing homes participated in a 12-month program designed to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by enhancing relationships between nursing homes and hospitals. Overall, 11 demographic surveys were administered to nursing homes prior to the start of the phase 1 pilot year between January and March 2018, and another 39 were administered prior to beginning phase 2 in January–February 2019. The survey consisted of 36 questions on facility characteristics, including NHSN enrollment, infection prevention and control (IPC) program and infection preventionist characteristics, and communication methods related to interfacility transfer of care. We compared facility, IPC program characteristics, and communication methods between nursing homes stratified based on NHSN enrollment. These were compared using the Fisher exact test. Results: In total, 50 nursing homes, varying in size and services provided, completed the demographic survey (Table 1). Of these 50 nursing homes, 11 (22%) were enrolled in the NHSN. Nursing homes enrolled in the NHSN were more likely to use a telephone report prior to resident transfer in and out of the facility (P = .04) and to disseminate infection data to all facility nursing staff (P = .02). Overall, less than half of nursing homes included a telephone report as part of their routine hand-off communication, and most nursing homes relied only on written transfer forms or discharge documentation. Moreover, 65% of the nursing homes reported use of a standardized method to accept new residents with history of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO), including a review of infection or MDRO type, antibiotic orders, and ambulation status. NHSN-enrolled nursing homes were also more likely to have an antibiotic stewardship program and to use the electronic health record (EHR) to facilitate infection surveillance, though these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: A higher percentage of nursing homes enrolled in the NHSN engaged in activities connected with resident safety including verbal report prior to interfacility transfer and antimicrobial stewardship programs. Dedicating resources for nursing homes to enhance their IPC program including NHSN enrollment should be encouraged.
Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the AHRQ (grant no. RO1HS25451).
We conducted a preintervention–postintervention study to assess the effectiveness of a multimodal approach to reduce unnecessary urethral catheters in 5 Japanese intensive care units. After the intervention urethral catheter point prevalence decreased by 18%, from 79% preintervention to 61% postintervention, and catheter appropriateness increased by 28%, from 57% preintervention to 85% postintervention.
The impact of healthcare system integration on infection prevention programs is unknown. Using catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention as an example, we hypothesize that US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes have a more robust infection prevention infrastructure due to integration and centralization compared with non–VA nursing homes.
VA and non-VA nursing homes participating in the AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care collaborative.
Nursing homes provided baseline information about their infection prevention programs to assess strengths and gaps related to CAUTI prevention via a needs assessment questionnaire.
A total of 353 of 494 nursing homes from 41 states (71%; 47 VA and 306 non-VA facilities) responded. VA nursing homes reported more hours per week devoted to infection prevention-related activities (31 vs 12 hours; P<.001) and were more likely to have committees that reviewed healthcare-associated infections. Compared with non-VA facilities, a higher percentage of VA nursing homes reported tracking CAUTI rates (94% vs 66%; P<.001), sharing CAUTI data with leadership (94% vs 70%; P=.014) and with nursing personnel (85% vs 56%, P=.003). However, fewer VA nursing homes reported having policies for appropriate catheter use (64% vs 81%; P=.004) and catheter insertion (83% vs 94%; P=.004).
Among nursing homes participating in an AHRQ-funded collaborative, VA and non-VA nursing homes differed in their approach to CAUTI prevention. Best practices from both settings should be applied universally to create an optimal infection prevention program within emerging integrated healthcare systems.
Inappropriate treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in the hospital setting is common. We sought to evaluate the treatment rate of ASB at the 3 hospitals and assess the impact of a hospitalist-focused improvement intervention.
Prospective, interventional trial.
Two community hospitals and a tertiary-care academic center.
Adult patients with a positive urine culture admitted to hospitalist services were included in this study. Exclusions included pregnancy, intensive care unit admission, history of a major urinary procedure, and actively being treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI) at the time of admission or >48 hours prior to urine collection.
An educational intervention using a pocket card was implemented at all sites followed by a pharmacist-based intervention at the academic center. Medical records of the first 50 eligible patients at each site were reviewed at baseline and after each intervention for signs and symptoms of UTI, microbiological results, antimicrobials used, and duration of treatment for positive urine cultures. Diagnosis of ASB was determined through adjudication by 2 hospitalists and 2 infectious diseases physicians.
Treatment rates of ASB decreased (23.5%; P=.001) after the educational intervention. Reductions in treatment rates for ASB differed by site and were greatest in patients without classic signs and symptoms of UTI (34.1%; P<.001) or urinary catheters (31.2%; P<.001). The pharmacist-based intervention was most effective at reducing ASB treatment rates in catheterized patients.
A hospitalist-focused educational intervention significantly reduced ASB treatment rates. The impact varied across sites and by patient characteristics, suggesting that a tailored approach may be useful.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated the surveillance definition of catheter-associated urinary tract infection to include only urine culture bacteria of at least 1×105 colony-forming units/mL. Our findings suggest that the new surveillance definition may fail to capture clinically meaningful catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(4):469–471
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is considered a reasonably preventable event in the hospital setting, and it has been included in the US Department of Health and Human Services National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. While multiple definitions for measuring CAUTI exist, each has important limitations, and understanding these limitations is important to both clinical practice and policy decisions. The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance definition, the most frequently used outcome measure for CAUTI prevention efforts, has limited clinical correlation and does not necessarily reflect noninfectious harms related to the catheter. We advocate use of the device utilization ratio (DUR) as an additional performance measure for potential urinary catheter harm. The DUR is patient-centered and objective and is currently captured as part of NHSN reporting. Furthermore, these data are readily obtainable from electronic medical records. The DUR also provides a more direct reflection of improvement efforts focused on reducing inappropriate urinary catheter use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):327–333
Hospital Ebola preparation is underway in the United States and other countries; however, the best approach and resources involved are unknown.
To examine costs and challenges associated with hospital Ebola preparation by means of a survey of Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) members.
Electronic survey of infection prevention experts.
A total of 257 members completed the survey (221 US, 36 international) representing institutions in 41 US states, the District of Columbia, and 18 countries. The 221 US respondents represented 158 (43.1%) of 367 major medical centers that have SHEA members and included 21 (60%) of 35 institutions recently defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Ebola virus disease treatment centers. From October 13 through October 19, 2014, Ebola consumed 80% of hospital epidemiology time and only 30% of routine infection prevention activities were completed. Routine care was delayed in 27% of hospitals evaluating patients for Ebola.
Convenience sample of SHEA members with a moderate response rate.
Hospital Ebola preparations required extraordinary resources, which were diverted from routine infection prevention activities. Patients being evaluated for Ebola faced delays and potential limitations in management of other diseases that are more common in travelers returning from West Africa.
Treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria contributes to antimicrobial overuse in hospitalized patients. Indications for urine culture, treatment, and targets for improvement were evaluated in 153 patients. Drivers of antimicrobial overuse included fever with an alternative source, altered mental status, and leukocytosis, which led 435 excess days of antimicrobial therapy.
To examine regional variation in the use and appropriateness of indwelling urinary catheters and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI).
Design and Setting.
US acute care hospitals.
Hospitals were divided into 4 regions according to the US Census Bureau. Baseline data on urinary catheter use, catheter appropriateness, and CAUTI were collected from participating units. The catheter utilization ratio was calculated by dividing the number of catheter-days by the number of patient-days. We used the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definition (number of CAUTIs per 1,000 catheter-days) and a population-based definition (number of CAUTIs per 10,000 patient-days) to calculate CAUTI rates. Logistic and Poisson regression models were used to assess regional differences.
Data on 434,207 catheter-days over 1,400,770 patient-days were collected from 1,101 units within 726 hospitals across 34 states. Overall catheter utilization was 31%. Catheter utilization was significantly higher in non-intensive care units (ICUs) in the West compared with non-ICUs in all other regions. Approximately 30%–40% of catheters in non-ICUs were placed without an appropriate indication. Catheter appropriateness was the lowest in the West. A total of 1,099 CAUTIs were observed (NHSN rate of 2.5 per 1,000 catheter-days and a population-based rate of 7.8 per 10,000 patient-days). The population-based CAUTI rate was highest in the West (8.9 CAUTIs per 10,000 patient-days) and was significantly higher compared with the Midwest, even after adjusting for hospital characteristics (P = .02).
Regional differences in catheter use, appropriateness, and CAUTI rates were detected across US hospitals.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
Previously published guidelines are available that provide comprehensive recommendations for detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The intent of this document is to highlight practical recommendations in a concise format designed to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing their catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention efforts. This document updates “Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals,” published in 2008. This expert guidance document is sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and is the product of a collaborative effort led by SHEA, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise. The list of endorsing and supporting organizations is presented in the introduction to the 2014 updates.
This white paper identifies knowledge gaps and new challenges in healthcare epidemiology research, assesses the progress made toward addressing research priorities, provides the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Committee's recommendations for high-priority research topics, and proposes a road map for making progress toward these goals. It updates the 2010 SHEA Research Committee document, “Charting the Course for the Future of Science in Healthcare Epidemiology: Results of a Survey of the Membership of SHEA,” which called for a national approach to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and a prioritized research agenda. This paper highlights recent studies that have advanced our understanding of HAIs, the establishment of the SHEA Research Network as a collaborative infrastructure to address research questions, prevention initiatives at state and national levels, changes in reporting and payment requirements, and new patterns in antimicrobial resistance.
Urine cultures are frequently obtained for hospitalized patients. We reviewed documented indications for culture and compared these with professional society guidelines. Lack of documentation and important clinical scenarios (before orthopedic procedures and when the patient has altered mental status without a urinary catheter) are highlighted as areas of use outside of current guidelines.
To evaluate whether hospital-acquired catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CA-UTIs) are accurately documented in discharge records with the use of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes so that nonpayment is triggered, as mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital-Acquired Conditions Initiative.
We conducted a retrospective medical record review of 80 randomly selected adult discharges from May 2006 through September 2007 from the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) with secondary-diagnosis urinary tract infections (UTIs). One physician-abstractor reviewed each record to categorize UTIs as catheter associated and/or hospital acquired; these results (considered “gold standard”) were compared with diagnosis codes assigned by hospital coders. Annual use of the catheter association code (996.64) by UMHS coders was compared with state and US rates by using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data.
Patient mean age was 58 years; 56 (70%) were women; median length of hospital stay was 6 days; 50 patients (62%) used urinary catheters during hospitalization. Hospital coders had listed 20 secondary-diagnosis UTIs (25%) as hospital acquired, whereas physician-abstractors indicated that 37 (46%) were hospital acquired. Hospital coders had identified no CA-UTIs (code 996.64 was never used), whereas physician-abstractors identified 36 CA-UTIs (45%; 28 hospital acquired and 8 present on admission). Catheter use often was evident only from nursing notes, which, unlike physician notes, cannot be used by coders to assign discharge codes. State and US annual rates of 996.64 coding (~1% of secondary-diagnosis UTIs) were similar to those at UMHS.
Hospital coders rarely use the catheter association code needed to identify CA-UTI among secondary-diagnosis UTIs. Coders often listed a UTI as present on admission, although the medical record indicated that it was hospital acquired. Because coding of hospital-acquired CA-UTI seems to be fraught with error, nonpayment according to CMS policy may not reliably occur.
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