Introducing the No Preventable Harms campaign: creating the safest health care system in the world, starting with catheter-associated urinary tract infection prevention

Am J Infect Control. 2015 Mar 1;43(3):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.11.016.


Background: Endemic health care-associated safety problems, including health care-associated infection, account for substantial morbidity and mortality. We outline a regional No Preventable Harms campaign to reduce these safety problems and describe the initial results from the first initiative focusing on catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention.

Methods: We formed a think tank composed of multidisciplinary experts from within a 7-hospital Midwestern Veterans Affairs network to identify hospital-acquired conditions that had strong evidence on how to prevent the harm and outcome data that could be easily collected to evaluate improvement efforts. The first initiative of this campaign focused on CAUTI prevention. Quantitative data on CAUTI rates and qualitative data from site visit interviews were used to evaluate the initiative.

Results: Quantitative data showed a significant reduction in CAUTI rates per 1,000 catheter days for nonintensive care units across the region (2.4 preinitiative and 0.8 postinitiative; P = .001), but no improvement in the intensive care unit rate (1.4 preinitiative and 2.1 postinitiative; P = .16). Themes that emerged from our qualitative data highlight the need for considering local context and the importance of communication when developing and implementing regional initiatives.

Conclusions: A regional collaborative can be a valuable strategy for addressing important endemic patient safety problems.

Keywords: Collaborative; Hospital unit culture; Hospital-acquired conditions; Patient safety; Regional medical programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infection Control / organization & administration*
  • Patient Safety
  • Prevalence
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*