A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. UTIs are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Among UTIs acquired in the hospital, approximately 75% are associated with a urinary catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder through the urethra to drain urine. 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. Therefore, catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
How does HRMC compare to state and national levels for CAUTI?
Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR)
The Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR) is a statistic used to track healthcare associated infections (HAIs) over time, at a national, state, and facility level. The SIR compares the actual number of HAIs at each hospital, to the predicted number of infections.
- If the SIR is equal to 1 then the number of actual infections is the same as the number predicted
- If the SIR is less than 1 then the number of actual infections is less than the number predicted
- If the SIR is greater than 1 then the number of actual infections is greater than the number predicted
We follow the recommended catheter best practices to prevent infection when a catheter is placed, which includes:
- Performing hand hygiene before and after touching the catheter
- Inserting catheters only for appropriate indications, and leaving in place only as long as needed.
- Minimizing urinary catheter use and duration of use in all patients, particularly those at higher risk for CAUTI or mortality from catheterization such as women, the elderly, and patients with impaired immunity.
- Avoiding the use of urinary catheters in patients and nursing home residents for management of incontinence.
- Using urinary catheters in operative patients only as necessary, rather than routinely.
What can patients do to help prevent CAUTI?
- Speak up about any concerns so that healthcare personnel are reminded to follow the best infection prevention practices.
- Ask a healthcare provider if the catheter is absolutely necessary. If so, ask them to help you understand the need for it and how long it will be in place.
- Tell a healthcare worker if the area around the catheter is sore or red or if the patient has a fever or chills.
- Do not let any visitors touch the catheter or tubing.
- The patient should avoid touching the tubing as much as possible.
- In addition, everyone visiting the patient must wash their hands—before and after they visit.