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April 2014
Patient Care and Science
New Guidance Highlights How to Reduce Catheter - Associated UTIs
Updated guidance on strategies for implementing and prioritizing efforts to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in hospitals is now available from IDSA, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and other partners.

The practice recommendations, published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (ICHE), are part of A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates, a series to be published over several months sharing evidence-based strategies to help healthcare professionals effectively control and prevent the spread of HAIs.

The strategies urge healthcare professionals to use a catheter only if there is clear clinical indication to do so and, if used, to discontinue as soon as possible. The updated guidance also provides basic practices for acute care hospitals on the appropriate use of catheters including:

  • Insertion and Management: To avoid complications due to misuse of catheters, the authors highlight protocols that address proper insertion and maintenance techniques to prevent CAUTIs.
  • Healthcare Personnel Education: To reduce overuse, the guidance emphasizes the importance of education among healthcare professionals to highlight alternatives to catheters, as well as stressing the need to question in each patient's individual care plan if the device is actually necessary.
  • Surveillance:  To record progress in CAUTI prevention, each hospital is advised to create a program that can spotlight effective strategies and areas for improvement.

All recommendations were reviewed by an expert panel and numerous medical societies. A new addition to the updated guidance includes examples of implementation strategies and provides references that hospitals can access for more detailed information.

The Compendium is a collaborative effort led by the SHEA, IDSA, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and The Joint Commission.  The 2014 release updates the initial 2008 Compendium.

Seven Compendium articles will be published in the May through August issues of ICHE, and will include strategies to prevent CAUTI, Clostridium difficile, surgical site infections, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia, plus an article focused on hand hygiene improvement strategies. Each article contains infection prevention strategies, performance measures, and examples of implementation approaches.




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