Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
What are we tracking and why?
Inpatients require urinary catheters for a number of reasons including limited mobility and weakened balance or strength. We track the frequency of urinary tract infections that develop from the use of urinary catheters. Patients may develop urinary tract infections associated with the insertion or maintenance of catheters. These are called Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) which can lead to serious complications.
How are we doing?
What are we doing to improve?
We have ongoing efforts aimed at preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). Efforts include monitoring best practice techniques from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:
- Maintaining a sterile closed-drainage system
- Keeping the catheter properly secured to prevent movement
- Placing the collection bag below the level of the bladder
- Maintaining unobstructed urine flow
- Regularly emptying the collection bag
We have implemented several initiatives to prevent CAUTI that include hospital-wide leadership engagement of:
- Improved staff education of evidence-based practices
- Incorporation of CAUTI prevention education into nursing and physician skills fairs and new employee orientation
- Improved documentation in the electronic medical record
- Increased staff awareness of CAUTI rates
- Increased audits of urinary catheter care
- Improved cleansing of the insertion site before inserting the catheter and during every shift
What can you do?
You are encouraged to ask your care team to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection during insertion and maintenance of any catheter. This includes asking them to wash their hands and to use the recommended sterile insertion and maintenance techniques listed in the section above.
It is important to have the catheter removed as soon as it is no longer necessary. You are encouraged to ask about the necessity of a catheter at every opportunity.
It is also important to note that catheters should not be removed for convenience. Prematurely removing a catheter can lead to other medical issues, including injuries from falls by patients who are not fully mobile. Please discuss any potential risks with your healthcare team.