The Use of an Indwelling Catheter Protocol to Reduce Rates of Postoperative Urinary Tract Infections

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) have been associated with increases in morbidity and mortality as well as increased costs of hospitalization. At our institution, we implemented a protocol for indwelling catheter use, maintenance, and removal based on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, in efforts to reduce CAUTI rates.

A hospital committee of quality stewards focused on several measures which included staff education, modification of existing systems to ensure compliance, and auditing of patient care areas for catheter utilization before implementation of the protocol. Pre- and postintervention postoperative cohorts were then identified through American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) for prevalence of CAUTI. Data were collected through chart review and postdischarge patient interviews.

A total of 3873 patients were identified between September 2007 and December 2010. Thirty-six patients (2.6%) were diagnosed with a CAUTI in the preintervention group (N = 1404) compared to 38 (1.5%) patients who were diagnosed with a CAUTI in the postintervention group (N = 2469). There was a 1.1% decrease in CAUTI rate after protocol implementation (P < .028). This reduction in rates resulted in annual estimated savings of $81,840 to $320,540 annually.

A simple, multifaceted approach consisting of staff education and changing existing processes to reflect best care practices has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of postoperative CAUTI.

Connecticut medicine. 2016 Apr [Epub]

Affan Umer, David S Shapiro, Chris Hughes, Cynthia Ross-Richardson, Scott Ellner

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