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ICU Infection Prevention Practices Lax

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 30, 2014

Better adherence and development of infection control protocols in intensive care units would significantly reduce hospital-acquired infections, which result in $33 billion in additional costs to the healthcare system each year, researchers say.

While most hospital intensive care units now have infection control policies to prevent central line-associated bloodstream (CLABSI) and ventilator- associated pneumonia (VAP) infections, many clinicians do not adhere to those policies at the bedside, says a report from Columbia University and the CDC.

What's more, for four measures linked to catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention, roughly one-third of hospitals had no policy for one of the measures and half or more of the hospitals had no policy for the other three. Observance of those policies for those hospitals that had one was even lower.

"It's a pitiful state of affairs when the most common hospital-acquired infection, CAUTI, only 184 hospitals, or only 27% of these ICUs, reported adherence to using a simple urinary reminder or stop order," says Patricia Stone, director of the Center for Health Policy at  Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY, and the lead author of the report.

Better adherence and development of infection control protocols would reduce hospital-acquired infections, which the report estimates result in $33 billion in additional costs to the healthcare system each year.

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1 comments on "ICU Infection Prevention Practices Lax"


Dovette DeVore (2/10/2014 at 10:43 AM)
I agree completely. I am a nurse educator and have done many audits. I have witnessed 'Lax' behavior. I feel it is from lack of time and education. We need to make providing care easier for the clinician which results in better patient care. 'Lean' caregiving to account for human nature. Make it simple, all at the bedside. There are products out there, but they aren't mainstream yet - we need to push them to the forefront for all of our sake. If you have any ideas how, I will keep trying. :)