The evolution of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI): Is it time for more inclusive metrics?
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) has long been considered a preventable healthcare-associated infection. Many federal agencies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and public and private healthcare organizations have implemented strategies aimed at preventing CAUTIs. To monitor progress in CAUTI prevention, the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) CAUTI metric has been adopted nationally as the primary outcome measure and has been refined over the past decades. However, this surveillance metric may underestimate infectious and noninfectious catheter harm. We suggest evolving to more inclusive performance metrics to better reflect quality improvement efforts underway in hospitals. The standardized device utilization ratio (SUR) provides a good surrogate for preventable catheter harm. On the other hand, a population-based metric that combines both standardized infection ratio (SIR) and SUR would address both infectious and noninfectious harm, while adjusting for population risk. Finally, electronically captured catheter-associated bacteriuria may contribute essential information on local testing stewardship.
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