March 17th marks 10-year anniversary of no CAUTIs
March 17, 2023, marks 3,650 days—10 years—with no patient in Troy Regional Medical Center having a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). The timing of the anniversary is appropriate, as this is National Patient Safety Awareness Week sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). According to Dr. Lyn Diefenderfer, Troy Regional Chief of Hospital Medicine, this is a significant accomplishment because CAUTIs can cause harm and even death to patients.
Rick Smith, Troy Regional CEO, said, “Three thousand, six hundred and fifty days is a long time without this type of infection, and it is due to the collaborative work among our physicians, ordering catheters appropriately and discontinuing orders in a timely manner; and our clinical teams who deliver such great care with outstanding technique. Patient safety is top priority for us each day.”
Dr. Diefenderfer commended the staff: “We have excellent nurses and physicians who have committed themselves to achieve the highest standards in patient care by always putting patient safety first.”
Troy Regional Chief Clinical Officer Amy Minor explained the diligence the facility takes to ensure safety, including a coordinated plan of care and intentional communication. She said members gather each day from all departments with the administrative team, and within their respective departments, to discuss the environment of care and the needs of each patient. “Our Coordinated Care Program facilitates thorough and effective communication among patients and their family members with physicians and staff to increase the quality of the care our patients receive.
“In our quest to be known as one of the safest hospitals in the country,” Minor continued, “we strive to deliver the appropriate care by the appropriate person at the appropriate time to every patient. The focus on CAUTI prevention is one of many outstanding results we are experiencing that is making a tremendous positive impact on patient care.”
CAUTI is one of the most significant patient safety problems. It has been associated with increased morbidity, mortality, healthcare costs and length of hospital stay. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the fifth most common type of healthcare-associated infection, with an estimated 62,700 UTIs in acute care hospitals in 2015. UTIs additionally account for more than 9.5% of infections reported by acute care hospitals. Virtually all healthcare-associated UTIs are caused by instrumentation of the urinary tract. Between 15 and 25 percent of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. Approximately 12 to 16 percent of adult hospital inpatients will have an indwelling urinary catheter (IUC) at some time during their hospitalization, and each day the IUC remains, a patient has a 3 to 7 percent increased risk of acquiring a CAUTI.
Amanda Pyron, care coordinator and infection preventionist, RN, BSN, explained that Troy Regional safety scores are compared nationwide. “Our goal must be zero hospital acquired infections,” she said. “While zero seems impossible, this milestone shows that it is achievable with effective systems of care in place. By breaking down communication barriers between all parties and working together as a team at every organizational level, we can provide benefits to our patients.”