Inpatient surgical care: urinary catheter removed within 48 hours after surgery

A urinary catheter is a thin tube inserted through the urethra and into the bladder to help people drain urine when they are not fully able to do so on their own or when they cannot or should not move to get to a restroom. Catheters are usually attached to a bag that collects the urine. Sometimes surgical patients need to have a urinary catheter inserted into their bladder to help drain the urine during and after surgery.

Sometimes surgery patients develop infections when urinary catheters are left in place too long after surgery. Although most infections are mild, some infections can lead to serious complications, and should be avoided if possible.

Research shows that most surgery patients should have their urinary catheters removed within two days (48 hours) after surgery to prevent infection. Surgery patients can develop infections when urinary catheters are left in place too long after surgery. Infections are dangerous for patients, cause longer hospital stays, and increase costs. When hospitals remove urinary catheters within 48 hours, it may indicate that the hospital provides a higher level of patient care.

About measure

This measure tracks the percent of surgery patients with urinary catheters whose catheters were removed on the first or second day after surgery.

Note: In this measure, a higher number is better.  

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
  2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 99
National Average 97
State Average 97
Performance Trend (Percent)
  2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1
Northwestern Memorial 87 88 92 94 95 97 98 99
National Average 92 93 94 95 95 96 96 97
State Average 93 93 94 95 95 96 97 97
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov
Percentage of surgery patients who had urinary catheter removed within 48 hours