Jacobi reduces infections

The city Health and Hospital Corporation is honoring Jacobi Medical Center for their ongoing efforts on reducing infections in some sensitive places.

After the call to the hospital’s departments went out to reduce catheter-related urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), a “drive towards Zero CAUTI’s,” took place at Jacobi, and for 18 months, an inter-disciplinary committee monitored the hospital’s progress in improving patient safety.

The drive sought to reduce the number of patients using catheters, especially those known as Foleys, which remain in for long periods of time, said Virgina Tufaro, assistant director of nursing for the hospital’s adult emergency department.

“Every department, including critical care and emergency department worked very hard to get to this…there were several months in the past year where we achieved a zero rate of CAUTIs,” she said.

The push to attack the sensitive issue came on the heals of the Center for Disease Control recognizing that CAUTIs infections are a high cost, though a preventable type of infection, she added.

Jacobi put together a series of procedures to determine who would be receive a catheter and lowered the number of patients receiving Foleys, if possible assisting patients if they could use the bathroom or using “straight catheters” which are put in just before use and taken out just after use, she said.

According to the hospital, the interdisciplinary collaboration led to developing new standards reducing the number of catheter days.

The new standards established guidelines for removing a catheter two days after surgery, representing a 50 percent reduction in the previous number of days patients were catheterized, significantly reducing the risk of infection.

The new standards also replaced existing protocols which commonly call for routine catheterization of patients.

A review process was incorporated into clinical rounds and weekly meetings were instituted to evaluate patients who were still catheterized and to identify opportunities for removal.

In addition, if a decision was made to have patient catheterized, all members of that patient’s care team had to be briefed during this process and subsequently debriefed upon removal.

Tufaro said that William Walsh, senior vice-president of the North Bronx Healthcare Network, which includes Jacobi and North Central Bronx Hospital, called for the changes.

“By challenging our staff to rethink the risk and benefit of an extremely common practice we have been able to significantly improve patient care,” said Walsh.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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