Chaz Rhone, MPH, CIC

Reducing CAUTI through championing a patient safety culture

Chaz Rhone, MPH, CIC
Infection Preventionist
Tampa General Hospital

Chaz Rhone’s efforts to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) at Tampa General Hospital demonstrate how championing a patient safety culture can generate significant results.

An interest in patient safety is initially what drew Rhone to infection prevention when he was studying for a Master’s in Public Health. “I loved the idea of protecting patients during their healthcare journey by implementing best practices,” he said.

Recognizing shortly after his arrival at Tampa General that CAUTI rates at the hospital were higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s comparative data, Rhone joined a multidisciplinary CAUTI task force with the intent of leveraging guidelines and the hospital’s patient data to identify specific areas for process improvement. He then worked with the team to develop and implement both an electronic pop-up reminder (a daily catheter need assessment) and bundle practices that integrated into current workflow.

He also worked to position himself as a leader and resource, interacting with physicians and nurses to provide educational materials, gain buy-in, and solicit feedback. “Talking about how CAUTI impacts other patient safety initiatives such as falls and pressure ulcers really appealed to nurses in particular,” he said. Over time, the team achieved and sustained a significant reduction in catheter utilization and a standardized infection ratio

“You really want to aim for creating a culture of patient safety,” Rhone said. “The infections will change, but the motivation for addressing them will always be the same.”

During Rhone’s journey, APIC has been an invaluable resource. “In addition to providing information about guidelines and best practices, APIC can help prepare you to be a leader,” he said.

Rhone advises infection preventionist newcomers to present themselves as a positive resource: “Remind others that you’re working together to achieve a common goal—to keep patients safe,” he said.