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AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care: CAUTI

By Diane Orzechowski, NHA

LifeQuest Nursing Center is pleased to be able to participate in a program that is being led by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). HRET and its partners are developing and implementing an infection prevention and safety program to support long-term care facilities in adopting evidence-based infection prevention practices. Participating facilities will also learn how to use teamwork and communication tools to improve safety culture in their facilities.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is funding this national long-term care (LTC) safety program to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and other hospital acquired infections (HAIs) in Long Term Care Facilities across the country.

According to the Patient Safety Authority this program is important because research tells us that the rate of hospital-acquired infections in long-term care facility (LTCF) residents is between one and three million annually in the US.,  contributing to  400,000 deaths per year. In addition, re-hospitalizations from LTCFs are increasing, with urinary tract infections (UTIs) being the second most common reason. This program emphasizes evidence-based infection prevention practices and antibiotic stewardship to help eliminate (CAUTIs) and improve resident safety culture overall, which is  believed to  lead to improvements in other areas such as, C. difficile and multiple-drug resistant organisms (MDROs).

Anticipated benefits to the facility and residents include:

* Reduced morbidity and mortality from CAUTIs through improved infection prevention practices

* Reduced morbidity and mortality from C. difficile and other MDROs through appropriate antibiotic prescribing

* Reduced staff burden of admitting, readmitting and caring for residents with infection

* Improved safety culture through enhanced teamwork and communication

The project kickoff is scheduled for August 25 – September 5, 2014