Postoperative urinary tract infection (UTI) is a frequent complication that diminishes patient experience and incurs substantial costs. The purpose of this project was to develop a urinary tract care assessment tool that would lead to actionable quality improvement initiatives.

Multidisciplinary teams at a single institution developed the S.T.O.P. UTI algorithm to assess elements related to urinary catheter care: Sterile catheter placement, Timely catheter removal, Optimal collection bag position, and Proper urine sampling for urinalysis and culture. Based on this evaluation, a targeted intervention was applied to address deficient areas in surgical patients. UTI rates were monitored.

The assessment revealed that best practice for sterile placement was being performed but that time to removal, optimal positioning, and proper sampling could be improved. Providers were educated on best practice for catheter removal, nurses placed a reminder note on the chart, personnel were taught about optimal catheter positioning, and nursing assistants were educated on best practices for collection of urine. From 2012 to 2015, non-risk-adjusted UTI rates in surgical patients decreased from 2.90% to 0.46% (p = 0.0003), and the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program risk-adjusted comparison improved from the 8th to the 4th decile. Simultaneously, hospitalwide catheter-associated UTI rates also decreased, from 2.24/1,000 catheter-days in 2014 to 0.70/1,000 catheter-days in 2016 (p < 0.001).

The S.T.O.P. UTI algorithm is a tool that hospitals can use to systematically assess UTI processes. The program can identify areas for improvement specific to an institution, directing the allocation of quality improvement resources to decrease both surgical and medical UTIs.

Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety. 2019 Jul 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Nisha Narula, Heather A Lillemoe, Abigail S Caudle, Roy F Chemaly, Jacqueline J Anderson, Cindy Segal, Carol A Porter, Steven G Swisher, Charles F Levenback, Thomas A Aloia