Guest Author – Naomi O’Grady, MD
National Institutes of Health
Medical Director, Clinical Center’s Vascular Access and Conscious Sedation Services.
Recently, hospital-acquired infections have become an important benchmark of hospital quality and patient safety. Many hospitals are now being required to report patient safety data, and some of this data includes infection rates.
I am proud to announce the release of the updated Guideline to Prevent Intravascular Catheter Related Infections. Clinicians and infection control personnel now have the most recent published information on how to best eliminate these types of infections.
Previous prevention efforts have focused on central venous catheter placement in intensive care units, due to the frequency and the profound effect of hospital-acquired infections on ICU patients. They also focused on lapses in insertion techniques that lead to infection. But now we know that maintaining catheters can be equally associated with risk of infection, not just in the ICU but in outpatients too.
New computer technology has allowed hospitals to better track CRBSI on other units and in outpatients, such as those receiving cancer treatment. New data highlighted in the guideline show the need for wider and continued education, and reinforcement of protocols for the care and maintenance of catheters among staff. This guideline will address many issues associated with keeping a catheter in place by emphasizing attention to the details of good catheter care.