Together We Can Stop UTIs

Lehigh Valley Hospital (Allentown, Pennsylvania)

CSI Summary

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CSI Presentation

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CSI Toolkit

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Project Topic:

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and symptomatic urinary tract infection (SUTI)

Hospital Unit:

Transitional Skilled Unit (TSU)

CSI Participants:

  • Kara Lockwood, BSN, RN
  • Shirley Wagner, MBA, BS, RN

Video Presentation:

View this CSI team's project presentation video to earn CERPs.

Project Goals/Objectives:

  1. Decrease the incidence of CAUTI 10% and SUTI 5% in our patient population

Project Outcomes:

  1. Decreased occurrence of CAUTI 20% and SUTI 10%
  2. These outcomes resulted in an estimated annual fiscal impact of $50,000.

Project Overview:

Our CSI team noticed that CAUTI and SUTI incidence had increased in our unit over the past year. We brainstormed possible causes and identified several possibilities, such as:

  • The presence of indwelling urinary catheters
  • Poor toileting habits
  • Inadequate nutrition and hydration
  • Impaired mobility
  • Gaps in staff knowledge of urinary catheter policies/procedures and UTIs

Next, our team created a pre-education survey to assess the unit staff’s baseline knowledge of CAUTI and SUTI. The survey results revealed confusion about the bladder scan protocol initiated after a urinary catheter is removed.

Following a project kickoff event in our unit, our CSI team provided 1:1 staff education. We then began monitoring patients for signs and symptoms of UTIs and started monitoring and aiding in Foley catheter removal to promote wellness and comfort in our geriatric patients. We also discussed the project at monthly staff meetings and continued to educate our colleagues.

A secondary aim of our project was to review and assess existing urinary catheter policies and procedures ― including testing for urinary tract infections and identifying signs and symptoms of UTIs ― and then to create a corresponding education program for the unit, to be shared with newly hired staff.

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The materials associated with this AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy project are the property of the participating hospital noted above, not AACN. Requests to use content contained in the CSI team’s summary, presentation or toolkit should be directed to the hospital. We suggest reaching out to the hospital’s Communications, Marketing or Nursing Education department for assistance.

The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.