Catheter-related infections occur when bacteria originating from the catheter travels into a patient’s bloodstream or urinary tract. These infections are common, costly, and can result in serious harm or death to the patient. Alfredo J. Mena Lora, M.D., was able to reduce the rate of infection by 90% in 2017 at Saint Anthony Hospital by adopting tools and strategies from AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP). He incorporated these strategies into a hospital-wide Daily Interdisciplinary Safety Huddle that contributed to a reduction in device use and device infections.
Dr. Mena Lora is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at UI Health, and also serves as the Medical Director of Infection Control at Saint Anthony Hospital. In order to reduce the catheter-related infection rate, he adopted a CUSP strategy known as the communications briefing. CUSP was incorporated into a daily hospital-wide huddle with infection control components to reduce device use and device-associated infections. Dr. Mena Lora and his staff conducted a daily assessment of each patient to determine whether or not a catheter was still needed.
“The daily interdisciplinary safety huddle, or ‘DISH’ for short, provides a forum among hospital personnel that promotes catheter removal, accountability, and a stronger culture of safety,” Dr. Mena Lora says. By reviewing each patient on a daily basis, hospital staff can frequently evaluate if catheter use is absolutely necessary. Through this process, the rate of unnecessary catheter use decreases, which ultimately helps to reduce the rate of infection. Beyond the progress made on catheter-related infections, the CUSP strategy helped to improve communication, strengthen teamwork, and build support among staff members throughout the hospital.
Dr. Mena Lora’s extraordinary efforts in research and quality strongly contributed to the success seen at Saint Anthony Hospital. Reducing the catheter-related infection rate had a significant impact on patient safety and experience. Because of this, Saint Anthony Hospital won an Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) Innovation Challenge: Partners in Progress Award in February 2018. We celebrate Dr. Mena Lora’s great achievements and wish him the best as he continues doing clinical work and conducting meaningful research.