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Characterizing infection prevention programs and urinary tract infection prevention practices in nursing homes: A mixed-methods study.

Jones KM, Krein SL, Mantey J, Harrod M, Mody L. Characterizing infection prevention programs and urinary tract infection prevention practices in nursing homes: A mixed-methods study. Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2024 Jan 1; 45(1):40-47.

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OBJECTIVE: US policies require robust nursing home (NH) infection prevention and control (IPC) programs to ensure safe care. We assessed IPC resources and practices related to catheter and non-catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI and UTI) prevention among NHs. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study from April 2018 through November 2019. Quantitative surveys assessed NH IPC program resources, practices, and communication during resident transfer. Semistructured qualitative interviews focused on IPC programs, CAUTI and UTI prevention practices, and resident transfer processes. Using a matrix as an analytic tool, findings from the quantitative survey data were combined with the qualitative data in the form of a joint display. RESULTS: Representatives from 51 NHs completed surveys; interviews were conducted with 13 participants from 7 NHs. Infection preventionists (IPs) had limited experience and/or additional roles, and in 36.7% of NHs, IPs had no specific IPC training. IP turnover was often mentioned during interviews. Most facilities were aware of their CAUTI and UTI rates and reported using prevention practices, such as hydration (85.7%) or nurse-initiated catheter discontinuation (65.3%). Qualitative interviewees confirmed use of these practices and expressed additional concerns about overuse of urine testing and antibiotics. Although transfer sheets were used by 84% to communicate about infections, the information received was described as suboptimal. CONCLUSIONS: NHs identified IP challenges related to turnover, limited education, and serving multiple roles. However, most NHs reported awareness of their CAUTI and UTI rates as well as their use of prevention practices. Importantly, we identified opportunities to enhance communication between NHs and hospitals to improve resident care and safety.

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