CUSP partners are transforming process improvement across UF Health
Fifty percent — that’s the number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, or CAUTIs, that were reduced among UF Health Shands neurosurgery patients because of a Comprehensive Unit Safety Program, or CUSP, initiative.
This is just one of the many positive results from the Neuromedicine ICU CUSP team led by Jeanette Hester, R.N., CCRN, a UF Health Shands Nursing and Patient Services clinical leader, and co-chair Brenda Fahy, M.D., MCCM, a UF College of Medicine anesthesiologist.
A CUSP team includes interdisciplinary leaders who collaborate on ways to enhance patient safety and process improvement. Each of the UF Health nursing units has a CUSP or an interdisciplinary quality team. The monthly meetings ensure that the right people, from physicians and nurses to infection control staff, are at the table for the right situation.
“CUSPs are a collaborative way to improve quality and bring all of our teams together,” said Irene Alexaitis, D.N.P., R.N., NEA-BC, UF Health Shands Hospital chief nursing officer and Nursing and Patient Services vice president. “It’s all about getting everyone on the same page.”
Hester and her CUSP team noticed a trend in the number of CAUTIs among their neurosurgery patients and took on the challenge of reducing the infection rate. After monitoring the number of CAUTIs among their patients for a year and identifying the cause, Fahy, Hester and Katharina Busl, M.D., a UF College of Medicine neurologist, presented the team’s results to the CAUTI Advisory Committee.
Their findings led to a new neurosurgery-specific protocol that drastically reduced the infection rate. In fact, the team has achieved zero CAUTIs among neuromedicine critical care patients over several months, a result not reached before the team dug deeper into the issue.
The CUSP team had previous CAUTI reduction work published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in 2012 and plans to do the same with the 2017 results. Hester believes their findings can assist other health care systems with neuromedicine ICUs.
“Since this is a fairly young area of study, there’s not a lot of evidence and findings from neuromedicine ICUs,” Hester said. “So if we fix something, we need to contribute to the science and the knowledge of neurocritical care.”