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Columbia study finds hospitals don't follow infection prevention rules
Date:2/6/2014

on in excess medical costs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first linked infection rates to prevention programs in the 1970s. Research since then has shown that checklists and other targeted infection control practices can make a significant dent in infection rates but only if compliance rates among clinicians are also high.

Compliance could be improved with two solutions most hospitals aren't using electronic monitoring systems and staff certified in infection control. The study found that only about one-third of the ICUs have an electronic surveillance system to track compliance with infection-prevention policies at the clinician level. Electronic monitoring systems that offer report cards on compliance have been proven effective at getting clinicians to follow the rules, lowering infection rates, previous research has found. At the same time, more than one-third of hospitals also failed to employ a full-time clinician certified in infection prevention to supervise compliance, the study found.

"Every hospital should see this research as a call to action it's just unconscionable that we're not doing every single thing we can, every day, for every patient, to avoid preventable infections," Stone says.

For central-line associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSI, the study found that more than 90 percent of ICUs had checklists for sterile insertion but the policies were followed only about half of the time. Catheters, also known as a central line, deliver life-saving medicines and nutrition. Without proper insertion, utilization, and maintenance, catheters can also transmit deadly infections to the bloodstream. Simple infection prevention measures include hand washing before handling the catheter and immediately changing the dressing around the central line if it gets wet or dirty.

Compliance rates were no better for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia, or VAP, the study found. Overall, three in fo
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Contact: Lisa Rapaport
lr2692@cumc.columbia.edu
212-342-3795
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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