National Patient Safety Goal Aims to Prevent Catheter-Associated UTIs

A new National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG.07.06.01) for hospital and critical-access hospital accreditation programs has been approved by The Joint Commission. It focuses on catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). No new NPSGs for other accreditation programs have been announced.

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are the most commonly occurring health care-acquired infection (HAI), accounting for up to 80 percent of all HAIs. The new goal mandates the implementation of evidence-based practices to prevent CAUTIs. However, it does not apply to pediatric populations because research was conducted with adults; thus, consensus that these practices apply to children could not be established.

NPSG.07.06.01 states that indwelling urinary catheters should be used in accordance with established evidence-based guidelines that address limiting their use and duration to those that are necessary for patient care. This goal also mandates using aseptic technique for site preparation, equipment, and supplies. Catheters should be managed according to evidence-based guidelines that include:

  • securing the catheter to allow for unobstructed urine flow and drainage
  • maintaining the urine collection system’s sterility and replacing it when needed
  • collecting urine samples

Health care organizations are also instructed to measure and monitor CAUTI prevention processes by:

  • selecting measures and monitoring compliance using evidence-based guidelines or best practices
  • evaluating the effectiveness of infection prevention efforts.

The full version of The Joint Commission’s 2012 National Patient Safety Goals is available online. Health care organizations should plan for full implementation by January 1, 2013.

To learn more about the National Patient Safety Goals and other Joint Commission requirements, see Mosby’s Nursing Suite for The Joint Commission/OSHA Compliance online course.

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