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A Checklist to Prevent CAUTIs

NorthShore University Health System reduces catheter usage and introduces a checklist to keep CAUTI rates low

Because most urinary tract infections acquired during a hospital stay are associated with a urinary catheter, it’s important that catheters are used only when necessary and removed as soon as possible. By reviewing orders to ensure that indwelling urinary catheters were placed only when necessary, NorthShore reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections by more than 85% over four years.

To keep infection rates low, NorthShore implemented a checklist in Epic based on the Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality’s device risk checklist. The checklist includes information about the catheters used, where the patient was treated, and potential pre-contamination risks to identify factors leading to CAUTIs. By using the checklist, NorthShore identified opportunities to provide additional training and improve perineal care, enabling them to maintain low infection rates.

“[The checklist] gives me all the variables in one place, and in many cases allows me to determine whether a CAUTI could be preventable,” said Mona Shah, an infection preventionist at NorthShore.

Read more from AHRQ. Epic community members can learn about using Epic tools to reduce CAUTIs in this Clinical Program on the UserWeb: Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections.