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IPAC News: In Conversation with Susan Cooper

Management of Urinary Tract Infections in Long-Term Care

What is the Management of Urinary Tract Infections in Long-Term Care project?

Cooper: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a growing issue in long-term care homes and our long-term care stakeholders are looking for tools and educational materials to help homes prevent and manage UTIs.

What prompted Public Health Ontario to create these tools?

Cooper: Our local Regional Infection Control Networks (RICNs) support long-term care homes with various forms of UTI information and education. Long-term care stakeholders shared some of their concerns and we recognized an opportunity to help by building on local successes of what worked to develop a consolidated set of tools and practices for all long-term care homes.

How did you decide what tools to create? Why did you create resources for health care providers as well as residents/families?

Cooper: We surveyed all long-term care homes across the province to better understand what they needed to improve the management of UTIs in their homes.  The response was overwhelming, with more than half of respondents indicating that information for families would be most helpful. Respondents also requested tools that would provide education and information for health care providers.

User feedback has been invaluable and we will continue to add more resources based on ongoing feedback and input from experts in behaviour change, nutrition, infectious diseases, and dementia.

What response did you get when you shared the resources with your test group?

Cooper: Based on user feedback, we created a stakeholder review committee. We greatly value their opinions; after all, they will be using these tools themselves. The excitement we see and hear when we introduce this project to our stakeholders has been amazing. Just this week, we previewed some of the tools in a long-term care home, and staff said they could not wait to get the final tools and use them to help manage the challenges of overtreatment of UTIs.

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About Susan Cooper
Susan Cooper is the Network Coordinator at PHO’s South Eastern Ontario Infection Control Network. She is a licensed Medical Laboratory Technologist with over 34 years’ experience in the Microbiology lab and infection control.

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Page last updated: 2016-01-12 10:34 AM
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