A Program to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection in Acute Care

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Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common device-associated infection in hospitals. Both technical factors–appropriate catheter use, aseptic insertion, and proper maintenance–and socioadaptive factors, such as cultural and behavioural changes in hospital units, are important in preventing catheter-associated UTI. The national Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, aimed to reduce catheter-associated UTI in intensive care units (ICUs) and non-ICUs. The main program features were dissemination of information to sponsor organizations and hospitals, data collection, and guidance on key technical and socioadaptive factors in the prevention of catheter-associated UTI. Data on catheter use and catheter-associated UTI rates were collected during three phases: baseline (3 months), implementation (2 months), and sustainability (12 months). Multilevel negative binomial models were used to assess changes in catheter use and catheter-associated UTI rates. Data were obtained from 926 units (59.7% were non-ICUs, and 40.3% were ICUs) in 603 hospitals in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The unadjusted catheter-associated UTI rate decreased overall from 2.82 to 2.19 infections per 1000 catheter-days. In an adjusted analysis, catheter-associated UTI rates decreased from 2.40 to 2.05 infections per 1000 catheter-days (incidence rate ratio, 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.96; P=0.009). Among non-ICUs, catheter use decreased from 20.1% to 18.8% (incidence rate ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90 to 0.96; P<0.001) and catheter-associated UTI rates decreased from 2.28 to 1.54 infections per 1000 catheter-days (incidence rate ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.82; P<0.001). Catheter use and catheter-associated UTI rates were largely unchanged in ICUs. Tests for heterogeneity (ICU vs. non-ICU) were significant for catheter use (P=0.004) and catheter-associated UTI rates (P=0.001). A national prevention program appears to reduce catheter use and catheter-associated UTI rates in non-ICUs. (

This article by fourteen authors was published in the New England Journal of Medicine issued dated 2nd June 2016.  The issue is available in the Healthcare Library on Level D of Rotherham Hospital.

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