News | Published July 7, 2014

Medical Center successfully completes Highmark CAUTI reduction program

Mount Nittany Medical Center is pleased to announce it has successfully completed Highmark Quality Blue’s Hospital Pay-for-Value Program on reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

In addition to decreasing the Medical Center’s CAUTI rate by 34 percent, the Medical Center has also earned an increased level of reimbursement over the next year for having successfully completed the project.

“We appreciate the hard work of everyone involved, from environmental services and education to nursing, case management, information services and others, for their dedication to best practices in CAUTI prevention,” said Gail Miller, RN, MS, CPHQ, vice president for quality, Mount Nittany Medical Center. “I would like to especially commend Marlene Stetson, infection control and prevention coordinator, Mount Nittany Medical Center, for her tremendous work in leading this project.”

In June 2013, various Medical Center departments began working together to achieve a CAUTI rate of less than 1.4/1,000 catheter days by June 2014, the benchmark established by Highmark’s Quality Blue’s program.

Their work resulted in a number of patient care improvements, the most notable being the introduction of a new nurse-driven protocol for daily catheter assessment and discontinuation. The goal of this protocol is to remove the catheter as soon as it is no longer needed. By reducing catheter use, the risk of infection is also reduced.

Promoting proper hand hygiene — a key to infection prevention — also yielded positive results. Thanks to creative ideas such as staff wearing “Watch me wash my hands” buttons and using an iScrub iPad app to assess hand hygiene, the percentage of patients surveyed who stated their providers “always” practice hand hygiene compliance increased.

“Successful participation in the CAUTI reduction project has helped promote a culture of quality and, most importantly, has led to better outcomes for our patients,” said Stetson.

The Foundation’s 21st Annual Golf Tournament raised $150,000 for the new Cancer Center.

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