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CAUTI Prevention Committee

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection that occur in hospital systems today. Approximately 75% of the urinary tract infections acquired in hospitals are associated with a urinary catheter. Between 15-25% of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is prolonged use of the urinary catheter.

The Goal:
Reduce CAUTIs by creating a Prevention Committee to implement policy changes that promote prompt catheter removal and improve aseptic techniques.

Method & Implementation:
The CAUTI Prevention Committee at Trident Medical Center added specific catheter-focused questions on the daily rounds that forced the medical team to reexamine daily whether the patient still needed the catheter and required a CDC-approved reason for the catheter to remain. The insertion day of the catheter was also discussed in these meetings, and the committee added a whiteboard in each patient’s room with the insertion date so that the patient, physicians, nurses and visitors would be constantly reminded of the risk. All nurses were also required to go through simulation lab training to ensure proper aseptic techniques and the use of best practices.

Challenges & Barriers:
Adding additional procedural layers to an often-overworked staff
Fostering a culture that prioritized CAUTI prevention
The potential for culture drift once new policy has been implemented

Dramatic reduction in number of days a patient spends with a catheter inserted
50% reduction in CAUTIs in the first calendar year following implementation
Issue champions on the committee have led to a culture change

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