Infection Prevention Up in VA, Non-Federal Hospitals

But catheter-associated urinary tract infection prevention practices remain low

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- From 2005 to 2009, there was a significant increase in the use of hospital-acquired infection (HAI) prevention practices in non-federal and Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Sarah L. Krein, Ph.D., R.N., from the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan, and colleagues analyzed the use and trends in use (between 2005 and 2009) of HAI prevention practices by U.S. non-federal hospitals (which come under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] no payment rule), and VA hospitals (not subject to the CMS rule). Approximately 70 percent of the hospital infection preventionists who were surveyed in 2005 and 2009 responded. The main outcome measures included prevention of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI).

The investigators found that, due to the non-payment rule, more than half of non-federal hospitals showed a moderate or large increase in prevention of CLABSI, VAP, and CAUTI as a facility priority, compared with no change in priority in 60 percent of VA hospitals. However, significant increases in use of most practices to prevent CLABSI, VAP, and CAUTI were reported in non-federal and VA hospitals from 2005 to 2009. Certain practices to prevent CLASBI and VAP were used in 90 percent or more hospitals in 2009, whereas at least 50 percent of hospitals used only one CAUTI prevention practice.

"Since 2005, use of key practices to prevent CLABSI, VAP, and CAUTI has increased in non-federal and VA hospitals," the authors write. "The non-payment rule may not be the primary driver."

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