A successful program to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals will be expanded into long-term care settings nationwide, under a contract recently awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The program, called the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, is a framework to promote best practices for infection control. It includes tools to develop teamwork, communication and leadership to help clinicians implement evidence-based procedures.

CUSP has been implemented in more than 1,000 hospital intensive care units, bringing central-line associated bloodstream infections down more than 40%, according to AHRQ. The agency, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, now is seeking to expand the effort into long-term care settings. It has contracted the Health Research & Educational Trust, a research and education affiliate of the American Hospital Association, to spearhead the project. HRET led the program implementation in hospital ICUs.

“This new project will be aided by our previous experiences, and we are confident we can help LTCs apply our learning to their unique setting,” said Maulik Joshi, DrPH, president of HRET and senior vice president of AHA, in an email to McKnight’s. “We are working with multiple partners to carry out the work, including the University of Michigan and the Society for Hospital Medicine. Our success is built on collaboration.”   

HRET’s mission is to utilize research and education to transform healthcare across all settings, and the organization currently is working on projects in physician offices and ambulatory surgery centers, Joshi added, addressing potential questions long-term care operators may have about why a hospital-affiliated group is leading an LTC initiative.

The contract was announced Tuesday. It is for one base year with two option years, according to HRET.