Perspectives of hospital leaders and staff on patient education for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2022 Sep;43(9):1129-1134. doi: 10.1017/ice.2021.271. Epub 2021 Jul 7.


Objective: Device-related healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), are largely preventable. However, there is little evidence of standardized approaches to educate patients about how they can help prevent these infections. We examined the perspectives of hospital leaders and staff about patient education for CAUTI and CLABSI prevention to understand the challenges to patient education and the opportunities for improvement.

Methods: In total, 471 interviews were conducted with key informants across 18 hospitals. Interviews were analyzed deductively and inductively to identify themes around the topic of patient education for infection prevention.

Results: Participants identified patient education topics specific to CAUTI and CLABSI prevention, including the risks of indwelling urinary catheters and central lines, the necessity of hand hygiene, the importance of maintenance care, and the support to speak up. Challenges, such as lack of standardized education, and opportunities, such as involvement of patient and family advisory groups, were also identified regarding patient education for CAUTI and CLABSI prevention.

Conclusions: Hospital leaders and staff identified patient education topics, and ways to deliver this information, that were important in the prevention of CAUTIs and CLABSIs. By identifying both challenges and opportunities related to patient education, our results provide guidance on how patient education for infection prevention can be further improved. Future work should evaluate the implementation of standardized approaches to patient education to better understand the potential impact of these strategies on the reduction of HAIs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Catheter-Related Infections* / prevention & control
  • Cross Infection* / prevention & control
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / prevention & control