Nursing Home Policies for Preventing UTI Infections are Inconsistent

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jun 14, 2016 in Nursing Home Information

nursing home UTIAccording to researchers from Columbia University, a new study uncovers inconsistencies in nursing policies designed to prevent urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more prevalent than previously thought in nursing homes and they are often associated with shortfalls in prevention policies. Serious effects may occur with UTIs such as falls, dehydration, severe or fatal blood infections and delirium.

Because some nursing home residents suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, they cannot communicate effectively, which makes UTIs more challenging to identify. Lack of proper education and inconsistency in UTI protocols can increase the risk of infections.

Study Results

Researchers at the Center for Health Policy at Columbia University School of Nursing conducted the 2014 study involving 1,000 nursing homes and 88,000 nursing home residents throughout the United States. The nursing facilities’ UTI prevention protocols were compared to information from Medicare & Medicaid Services and revealed which strategies were effective in lowering UTIs.

The study showed more than 4,700 residents, or 5.4 percent, experienced a monthly UTI. While residents who had catheters were more than four times more likely to develop UTIs than residents with no catheters, increased infections were affiliated with non-catheter usage as well.

Emphasizing the necessity of prevention practices to reduce UTIs, researchers narrowed in on nine practices and discovered that three in particular were associated with lower UTIs.

  • Use of portable bladder ultrasound scanners reflected a minimized risk of an increased rate of non-catheter UTIs. Yet, only 22 percent of nursing homes employed scanner policies.
  • Nursing homes with cleaning policies for urine collection bags were 20 percent less apt to have high catheter related UTIs. However, only 44 percent of nursing homes had such policies.
  • Nursing homes that had an infection preventionist on staff with specific training had a 20 percent less of a likelihood of increased infection rates, but just nine percent of the facilities employed such a staff member.

If your loved one resides in a nursing home and you are concerned about their quality of care, contact Stewart Bell, PLLC to speak with an experienced nursing home attorney . In a free legal evaluation, you can express your concerns and find out if you have a claim against a nursing home or other provider.

Call 304-345-1700 or fill out a contact form.

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