Pennsylvania ICU Nurses Create CAUTI Reduction Task Force, and Other Nursing News

Male and female ICU nurses in protective wear discussing while standing in hospital ICU.

Pennsylvania ICU nurses are recognized for leading an initiative that reduces hospital-aquired CAUTI rates. A nurse based in Minneapolis, MN, recounts administering the COVID-19 vaccine to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. A monthly podcast offers conversations with nursing leadership experts and features information, insights, and innovations that drive change and provoke action. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

Pennsylvania ICU nurses help create CAUTI reduction task force

Nurses in Pennsylvania are being recognized for leading a quality-improvement initiative that has led to improved rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and CAUTI prevention.

At University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Williamsport, a 224-bed rural regional medical center in the north central region of the state, the intensive care unit (ICU) staff established a CAUTI reduction task force in response to CAUTI events that had occurred in 2018 and exceed its benchmark.

Hospital-acquired CAUTIs are the second most common healthcare-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and occur most frequently in ICUs.

A quality-improvement initiative with both education and practice-related interventions was developed in the ICU, featuring a multifaceted approach that quickly reduced CAUTI rates and laid the groundwork for hospital-wide implementation with long-term impact, according to hospital officials.

The ICU and its staff recently participated in a four-month intervention period for a study, during which the ICU reportedly had no reported CAUTI events, compared with two CAUTI events during the pre-intervention period. In addition, the CAUTI incident rate decreased by 1.33 per 1,000 catheter days. Of note, total catheter days increased by 10.5% from the pre-intervention period, which may be attributed to higher ICU admissions and a higher device utilization ratio during the intervention period.

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Holly Shadle, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner in the Neuroscience Center at UPMC Susquehanna, co-authored and conducted the study at UPMC Williamsport with colleagues from the hospital and Duke University School of Nursing as part of her doctoral work at Duke.

“One of the strengths of this initiative was the overall simplicity of the interventions,” Shadle said in a prepared statement. “These interventions were direct and efficient, with few direct costs or necessary equipment, making the process easily adaptable for hospital-wide use.”

The educational portion of the initiative began with all ICU nurses participating in module-based didactic training, followed by hands-on skill and competency sessions on each component of indwelling catheter care. Another element of the bundle involved indwelling catheter-related documentation and orders, including a daily checklist and a nurse-driven removal protocol for discontinuing catheter use. The seven-item protocol was adapted from practice recommendations from the hospital’s larger umbrella organization, officials said.

An electronic checklist used drop-down features for all responses, except for the catheter insertion date, to prevent free-text responses and typos. Completing the checklist was required on a nightly basis for every room in the ICU, even those rooms without patients or with patients who didn’t have indwelling urinary catheters.

Overall documentation compliance increased significantly from 50% before the interventions to 83.3% during the interventions, officials said. In addition, the informatics department began working to integrate a version of the daily checklist and nurse-driven removal protocol directly into the electronic health record.

Nurse recounts administering vaccine to Vice President Kamala Harris

Patricia Cummings, BSN, RN, a nurse based in Minneapolis, MN, was recently interviewed by Minority Nurse® about administering the COVID-19 vaccine to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. A student in the MSN program at Walden University and a clinical nurse manager at United Medical Center, Cummings is the subject of an online feature that published March 24.

During the interview, Cummings encouraged other nurses to help alleviate patients’ fears because they’re seen as trustworthy, especially among minorities.

Podcast spotlight: Today in Nursing Leadership

The Today in Nursing Leadership podcast offers monthly conversations with nursing leadership experts and features information, insights, and innovations that drive change and provoke action. In each episode, experts highlight the challenges currently facing nurse leaders and how to navigate these challenges for success.

The most recent episode, “Using Questions to Find Solutions,” includes Amy Stockman, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, associate chief nursing officer at Miami Valley Hospital. Stockman explores effective strategies that nurse leaders can use to guide employees to find their own solutions.

This podcast is available on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

For more nursing news, insights, and other healthcare resources, visit our Resource Center. Need Nursing CE courses? Find individual CE courses in your state, or save time and money by investing in an Elite Nursing Passport Membership.

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