How UPMC Williamsport cut CAUTI rates with a nurse-led initiative

A nurse-led effort at UPMC Williamsport (Pa.) hospital quickly reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the intensive care unit, spurring the organization to implement the program hospitalwide, according to a study published in Critical Care Nurse.

UPMC Williamsport reported 13 CAUTI events in 2018, six of which occurred in the ICU. The hospital had been aiming for four or fewer CAUTI events annually.

To hit this benchmark, the hospital created a CAUTI reduction task force that implemented various quality improvement interventions, including staff education, an electronic daily checklist and a nurse-driven removal protocol for indwelling urinary catheters.

UPMC Williamsport's ICU reported zero CAUTI events during the intervention period and reduced its CAUTI incidence rate by 1.33 per 1,000 catheter days. Documentation compliance for patient's catheter status also increased from 50 percent to 83.3 percent during the intervention period. 

"One of the strengths of this initiative was the overall simplicity of the interventions," study co-author Holly Shadle, DNP, a nurse practitioner in the neurosurgery department at Williamsport-based UPMC Susquehanna, said in an April 6 news release. "These interventions were direct and efficient, with few direct costs or necessary equipment, making the process easily adaptable for hospitalwide use."

To learn more about the initiative, click here.

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