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Atlantic General Hospital's CAUTI-Free Team and Code Lavender Program Receive Dedication to Excellence Awards

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Atlantic General Hospital's CAUTI-Free Team and Code Lavender Program Receive Dedication to Excellence Awards

Atlantic General Hospital's CAUTI-Free Team and Code Lavender Program recently received Dedication to Excellence awards for continuously providing exceptional service to patients, staff and the organization as a whole. Read below for more information about the CAUTI-Free Team and the Code Lavender Program:

CAUTI-Free Team:

The advent of COVID brought new challenges related to Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). Due to staffing and resource constraints, hospitals nationally showed marked increase in HAI occurrences, with one of the highest surges being in Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs). Maryland hospitals overall clocked in at a 25-50% uptick in such incidence.

Despite these wide spread challenges, AGH was able to hold fast to evidence-based best practices, keeping CAUTI rates well below Standard Infection Rates. The bulk of these efforts can be attributed to the inpatient nursing leadership teams and Infection Prevention.

Beginning in March 2022, Infection Prevention (IP) introduced, CDC-based, Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) rounds. This evidence-based approach pulls in best practice aimed at both early discontinuation and safe maintenance of Foley catheters. Findings were shared with nursing leadership to allow for on-the-spot solutioning aimed at enhancing patient safety and decreasing harm.

Since the advent of rounding, IP has been able to happily report an average 94% adherence to Foley care best practice. These efforts can be attributed to the culture established by our nurse leaders on the inpatient care units. Fostering attitudes focused on hand hygiene with catheter insertion and care, as well as vigilant catheter monitoring, breed an environment of zero harm. As a result of these great efforts, AGH is officially 1 year CAUTI free!

Code Lavender Program:

The Code Lavender program at AGH is intended to provide caregivers suffering from the side effects that can come with helping patients and loved ones— namely, compassion fatigue — with emotional support and resources to deal with emotions they may feel after difficult situations.

Compassion fatigue can lead to high levels of stress and often coexists with burnout. Healthcare workers who interact with patients directly, including nurses, social workers, nurses’ aides, respiratory therapists and paramedics often experience it. This type of stress may manifest as emotional or physical exhaustion. Staff members suffering from compassion fatigue may display callousness or indifference, poor judgment, a desire to quit nursing, increased physical complaints, irritability and anger.

Our Code Lavender program is a way for us as an organization to quietly provide personalized care to our front line caregivers who give so much compassion to our patients, yet are often in need of some personal support themselves. The purpose of Code Lavender is to give staff permission to acknowledge that they feel bad, to express emotion when bad things happen to our patients, and provide support and resources to help when they feel overwhelmed. It is to address compassion fatigue in caregivers.

Once triggered, a Code Lavender member of the Supportive Care Services team will respond and arrange with the requesting staff or department a time when caregivers involved in a stressful incident can gather together and discuss the incident. Other services provided include counseling, individual or team support listening, debriefing, pet therapy, prayer and other affectively based interventions, tea and snacks.

Code Lavender adds to the healing environment of a hospital. The message it sends to staff is that ongoing, in-depth support is available to help alleviate suffering. At our institution, support for Code Lavender shows its value to patients and caregivers. Self-care is not merely touted as something staff should do on their time off; it's enabled and valued as part of a healthy working environment. Furthermore, interdisciplinary interaction is seen as one of the most positive aspects of Code Lavender.