Viewing prevention of catheter-Associated urinary tract infection as a system: Using systems engineering and human factors engineering in a quality improvement project in an academic medical center

Chanhaeng Rhee, M. Eleanor Phelps, Bruce Meyer, W. Gary Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most commonly reported health care-Associated infection (HAI) in the United States. Among UTIs acquired in the hospital, approximately 75% are associated with urinary catheters, with an estimated 15%-25% of all hospitalized patients receiving urinary catheters during their hospitalization. Despite ambitious national goals to reduce these infections, catheter-Associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) has not decreased in the United States. Methods: Systems engineering (SE) and human factors engineering (HFE) methods were used to reduce urinary catheter utilization and CAUTIs in a three-year (June 1, 2012-May 31, 2015) quality improvement project in a 610-bed academic medical center. These methods were used to define the factors leading to CAUTI and promote standardization of urinary catheter utilization, insertion, and maintenance. Results: The total systemwide CAUTI count decreased from 135 cases at baseline to 74 cases at the end of the project's Year 1, to 59 cases at the end of Year 2, and 25 cases at the end of Year 3-Alone, an 81.5% reduction from baseline. The control chart showed a steady decline in the CAUTI count within a few months after the project's start. By the end of Year 3, on the basis of an average attributable-perpatient cost of CAUTI ($1,007 per case), the estimated annual avoidable CAUTI costs decreased from approximately $135,945 to $25,175 per year. Urinary catheter utilization decreased by 27.3% during the same three-year period, and the systemwide CAUTI standardized infection ratio (SIR) decreased from 3.2 to 0.51 (84.1% from baseline). Conclusion: SE and HFE methods and principles can effectively decrease urinary catheter utilization and CAUTI incidence in an academic medical center hospital environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Volume42
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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