Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is considered a reasonably preventable event in the hospital setting, and it has been included in the US Department of Health and Human Services National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. While multiple definitions for measuring CAUTI exist, each has important limitations, and understanding these limitations is important to both clinical practice and policy decisions. The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance definition, the most frequently used outcome measure for CAUTI prevention efforts, has limited clinical correlation and does not necessarily reflect noninfectious harms related to the catheter. We advocate use of the device utilization ratio (DUR) as an additional performance measure for potential urinary catheter harm. The DUR is patient-centered and objective and is currently captured as part of NHSN reporting. Furthermore, these data are readily obtainable from electronic medical records. The DUR also provides a more direct reflection of improvement efforts focused on reducing inappropriate urinary catheter use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):327–333