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Updated Strategies for Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections: Insights and Impact

The Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections recently incorporated revised recommendations titled ‘Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals’.

Originally issued in 2008 and later updated in 2014, the document is a collaboration among leading healthcare organizations such as the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA), Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the American Hospital Association, and The Joint Commission. Contributing their expertise to this labor-intensive, sustained collaborative effort were upwards of 100 global infection prevention and control professionals.

The objective of the compendium is to present succinct, evidence-based practices for countering six significant health care-associated infections that pose substantive risks to patient care. The document merges the latest research findings and expert consensus to offer implementation strategies that address healthcare practices’ broader context. It also contains specific recommendations for implementing and maintaining effective hand hygiene protocols within healthcare settings.

The compendium’s latest update also includes infection prevention strategies for both ventilator and nonventilator-associated pneumonia, with catheter-associated urinary tract infections being the last topic addressed.

Infection Control Today® interviewed Dr. Payal K. Patel, System Wide Medical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship, Intermountain Health, and lead author of the updated guidance, to provide insight into the document’s development and its key features.

The compendium, Dr. Patel explains, offers up-to-date guidance to hospitals on preventing health care-associated infections, incorporating the latest relevant research. Greater attention is given to strategies for reducing unnecessary urine cultures and improving diagnostic stewardship, thereby diminishing unnecessary antimicrobial use. Infection prevention can take place at multiple stages of catheter use, whether during insertion, during maintenance, or in efforts to remove catheters.

While the guidelines are intended for inpatient acute care hospitals, they may prove to be a valuable resource for any healthcare setting involved in the continuity of patient care involving catheter usage. The creation of these guidelines involved a multi-disciplinary team , ensuring its recommendations’ credibility and broad applicability.

Despite the complexity and volume of incorporated information, the team went to great lengths to ensure ease of use for the intended audience, including healthcare professionals at various training levels. The guidelines present an agreed-upon consensus among various patient safety-focused organizations, offering a unified preventive strategy for infection control efforts.


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