The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released a toolkit to help hospitals prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections, which is based on an AHRQ program administered by the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust, among others. More than 1,200 hospitals participated in the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, launched in 2011, which reduced CAUTI rates by about 15%, according to preliminary results. The program also reduced other healthcare-associated infections, such as central line-associated bloodstream infections. The CAUTI toolkit includes checklists and modifiable teaching tools to help clinical teams and resident physicians and nurses in intensive care units adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that call for urinary catheters to be removed as soon as possible. “We used this toolkit to take a fresh look at our entire approach to the use of catheters,” said Cheryl Davis, R.N., senior nurse epidemiologist in the Infection Prevention Department of Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, MO. “Not only have we reduced CAUTI rates, but we’ve also reduced catheter use overall, which makes patients significantly safer and more comfortable.”

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