Martha Jefferson Monday: Martha Jefferson Hospital Wins 1st Pla - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Martha Jefferson Hospital Wins 1st Place Award for Infection Prevention Efforts

Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections, often referred to as CAUTIs, are not uncommon in hospitals. However, they are something that healthcare providers are always working to reduce, and prevent when possible. Martha Jefferson Hospital was recently awarded first place in the Kimberly Clark Healthcare Associated Infection Watchdog Awards for the work that’s been done at the hospital to reduce CAUTI infections.

In some cases, having a catheter when you are in the hospital in unavoidable. However, anytime you insert something into your body, there is always a risk for infection. And, according to infection prevention specialists, CAUTIs are one of the most common types of infections seen.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s probably the second highest healthcare associated infection that hospitals report,” noted Dorothy Somerville, RN and Infection Prevention Specialist at Martha Jefferson.

Wanting to take an active role in lowering the number of CAUTIs at Martha Jefferson, Somerville helped to pull together a team of nurses to look at best practices, update procedures and processes and work to make changes for the better. The team looked at everything from whether the catheter was secured appropriately, to whether it was being properly cleaned and even started asking the question ‘does this patient need a catheter in the first place’ so ensure they weren’t being overused.

“Simply asking the question as to whether a catheter was needed, or still needed, really helped improve our numbers,” noted Somerville. “If you don’t have a catheter, there is no chance of developing an infection from one.

The work of the team paid off, and over the past two years Martha Jefferson has reduced its catheter days by 40%.

For those involved, the Kimberly Clark award is simply icing on the cake for all the hard work and effort put into keeping patients safe.

“It was really a group of dedicated nurses who wanted to make things better for their patients and that was the most rewarding to me,” noted Somerville.

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. If you have a question about your health you’d like answered, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

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Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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