What US hospitals are currently doing to prevent common device-associated infections: results from a national survey.

Despite focused initiatives to reduce device-associated infection among hospitalised patients, the practices US hospitals are currently using are unknown. We thus used a national survey to ascertain the use of several established and novel practices to prevent device-associated infections.

We mailed surveys to infection preventionists in a random sample of nearly 900 US acute care hospitals in 2017. Our survey asked about the use of practices to prevent three common device-associated infections: catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Using sample weights, we estimated the percentage of hospitals reporting regular use of each practice. We also conducted multivariable regression to determine associations between selected hospital characteristics (eg, perceived support from leadership) and use of CAUTI, CLABSI and VAP prevention practices.

The response rate was 59%. Several practices are reportedly used in over 90% of US hospitals: aseptic technique during indwelling urethral catheter insertion and maintenance (to prevent CAUTI); maximum sterile barrier precautions during central catheter insertion and alcohol-containing chlorhexidine gluconate for insertion site antisepsis (to prevent CLABSI); and semirecumbent positioning of the patient (to prevent VAP). Antimicrobial devices are used in the minority of hospitals for these three device-associated infections.

We provide an updated snapshot of the practices US hospitals are currently using to prevent device-associated infections. Compared with previous studies using a similar design and questions, we found that the use of recommended practices increased in US hospitals, especially for CAUTI prevention.

BMJ quality & safety. 2019 Apr 23 [Epub ahead of print]

Sanjay Saint, Michael Todd Greene, Karen E Fowler, David Ratz, Payal K Patel, Jennifer Meddings, Sarah L Krein

Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ., Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.