AHRQ Releases CAUTI Prevention Toolkit

By on 11:53 AM

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has announced the release of a new toolkit to help hospitals prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

CAUTIs are healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). They cause suffering for approximately 250,000 hospital patients each year at an expense of about $250 million. CAUTIs are largely preventable, and their reduction is a critical part of goals and strategies identified in a facility's infection prevention risk assessment.

The "Toolkit for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals" was developed to promote the use of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP). It helps hospitals apply the CUSP principles to prevent CAUTI in patients and improve safety culture at the unit level.

The toolkit consists of three modules — implementation, sustainability and resources — that a hospital unit can use to teach team members how to apply CUSP to prevent CAUTI.

The "implementation module" discusses the importance of a comprehensive, unit-based approach to safety and its impact on improving patient care. It takes users step by step through execution of clinical and cultural interventions.

The "sustainability module" explains the importance of planning for sustainability at the beginning of a project, and provides resources to plan, assess, and achieve sustainability.

The Resources module of the Toolkit for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals links to additional resources for CAUTI prevention and safety culture improvement.

AHRQ notes that use of the toolkit in tandem with the AHRQ CUSP Toolkit to create or enhance a culture of patient safety can help significantly decrease rates of CAUTI and other risks associated with indwelling catheter use. 

The toolkit was developed based on the experiences of more than 1,200 hospitals in 42 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia that successfully reduced CAUTI while participating in AHRQ's nationwide project.

If your organization is struggling to decrease CAUTIs, contact Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS). ICCS services include infection prevention education that can help your organization improve its efforts to reduce CAUTIs and other HAIs and help keep patients safe.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.