Hospitals participating in the first four cohorts of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality program led by the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 32% in non-intensive care units between March 2011 and November 2013, according to a study reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The “On the CUSP: Stop CAUTI” program also reduced catheter use by 1.3 percentage points, to 18.8%, by avoiding unnecessary or prolonged use and using alternative urinary collection methods. Catheter use and infections in participating ICUs were unchanged. “One possible explanation is the belief that patients who are ill enough to warrant admission to the ICU require close monitoring of urine output, which is an appropriate criterion for indwelling urinary catheters,” the authors note.

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