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Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection: A Successful Prevention Effort Employing a Multipronged Initiative at an Academic Medical Center

Purvis, Suzanne DNP, RN, GCNS-BC; Gion, Therese MS, RN, CRRN; Kennedy, Gregory MD, PhD; Rees, Susan DNP, RN, CPHQ, CENP; Safdar, Nasia MD; VanDenBergh, Shelly MS, RN, GCNS-BC; Weber, Jessica MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CCTN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000037

An interdisciplinary clinical improvement workgroup was formed at this academic medical center with the goal of reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). In 2011, the CAUTI rate was noted to be 4.7 CAUTIs per 1000 catheter days. Rounding by 2 lead clinical nurse specialists revealed deficiencies in current practice, which were addressed with multifaceted strategies, including evidence-based indwelling urinary catheter and bladder management protocols, education of staff, reporting of data, and utilization of an icon in the electronic health record (EHR). After the implementation of these strategies, the CAUTI rate decreased and was noted to be 2.4 in February 2013. In addition to this, there was a downward trend line for catheter days.

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Nursing Practice Innovation (Dr Purvis), Quality and Safety (Ms Gion), Development, Nursing & Patient Care Services (Dr Rees), General Medicine & Geriatrics/Family Practice & Forensics (Ms VanDenBergh), and Transplant & General Surgery (Ms Weber), University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin; Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin (Dr Kennedy); and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin (Dr Safdar).

Correspondence: Suzanne Purvis, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, Nursing Practice Innovation, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Avenue, MC 8340, Madison, WI (

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The authors thank Gary Bidwell, University of Wisconsin Health System, for his expertise in project management.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted for publication: November 1, 2013

Published ahead of print: December 5, 2013

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins