According to a new research study from the Center for Health Policy at Columbia University School of Nursing, a 2014 survey showed that 5.4% of more than 88,000 residents at nearly 1,000 nursing homes nationwide developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) each month. Those residents with catheters were four times more likely to get a UTI than those without catheters. Nonetheless, more of the infections identified were not associated with catheter use. As a result, researchers concluded that nursing homes should concentrate their efforts on preventing UTIs in general, rather than concentrating on those related to catheter use.
The study also identified three UTI prevention practices that generally led to lower rates of UTIs in residents. These precautions included the usage of portable bladder ultrasound scanners, which lowered the UTI rate by 10%. However, only 22% of the facilities had a policy on their usage. Likewise, the 44% of the facilities with policies in place about catheter cleaning procedures saw a 20% reduction in the incidence of UTIs. Finally, facilities with a staff infection preventionists who were trained in UTI prevention by the Associations for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) had a 20% reduction in their UTI rate among residents. Despite this fact, only 9% of the facilities had a staff member who had taken APIC training.
UTIs are only one type of infection that tends to occur regularly in nursing home residents. In some cases, repeated infections or even certain strains of infections can cause serious injuries to a resident, and may even be fatal. Therefore, as this study indicates, it is essential that healthcare facilities such as nursing homes establish and institute policies that are specifically designed to combat and prevent UTIs and other types of infections, and particularly those that have proven to be effective in the past.
At Boller & Vaughan, we know firsthand just how prevalent neglect in healthcare facilities and nursing homes can be, particularly with respect to the most vulnerable patients. If your family member has suffered abuse, neglect, or recurrent overmedication, we are here to protect your rights and represent your interests, no matter what the case may involve. Our law firm has the experience that you need in a case such as this, so that you can explore all of the options that are available to you, and decide what legal avenue to pursue. Call the Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys today at (608) 268-0268 and schedule a free appointment.