Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) (CMS)

Why is this measure important?

Urinary catheters are flexible tubes that are inserted into the bladders of patients who are unable to move or who do not have bladder control. They are also commonly used for patients undergoing surgery. Urinary catheters are used to drain or collect urine.
When urinary catheters are not put in correctly or kept clean, they can allow germs to enter the body and cause infections in the patient’s urinary system. These catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) can lead to other serious problems and even death.
However, hospital staff members can prevent most CAUTIs by following the infection control guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These include guidelines for inserting the catheter, for keeping the insertion site clean, and for removing the catheter as soon as it is not needed. Hospitals following these safety guidelines will likely have low numbers in this measure.

What does this measure show?

The catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) score is shown as a Standardized Infection ratio (SIR). This ratio is found by comparing the number of CAUTIs in patients in the intensive care units at Northwestern Memorial to a national benchmark.
Northwestern Memorial’s performance in this measure is placed into one of three categories based on how it compares to the national benchmark. These categories are:
·         Better than the benchmark
·         No different than the benchmark
·         Worse than the benchmark
Our most recent ratio for catheter-associated urinary tract infections is considered to be worse than the benchmarkfor this measure.
For this measure, a lower number is better.
Most Recent Available Data (Standardized Infection Ratio)
  2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 1.35
National Average 1
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,