Surveillance of health care-associated, catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are the corner stone of infection prevention activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network provides standard definitions for CAUTI surveillance, which have been updated periodically to increase objectivity, credibility, and reliability of urinary tract infection definitions. Several state health departments have validated CAUTI data that provided insights into accuracy of CAUTI reporting and adherence to CAUTI definition.
Data accuracy measures included pooled mean sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value. Total CAUTI error rate was computed as proportion of mismatches among total records. The impact of 2015 CAUTI definition changes were tested by comparing pooled accuracy estimates of validations prior to 2015 with post-2015.
At least 19 state health departments conducted CAUTI validations and indicated pooled mean sensitivity of 88.3%, specificity of 98.8%, positive predictive value of 93.6%, and negative predictive value of 97.6% of CAUTI reporting to the National Healthcare Safety Network. Among CAUTIs misclassified (121), 66% were underreported and 34% were overreported. CAUTI classification error rate declined significantly from 4.3% (pre-2015) to 2.4% (post-2015). Reasons for CAUTI misclassifications included: misapplication of CAUTI definition, misapplication of general health care-associated infection definitions, and clinical judgement over surveillance definition.
CAUTI underreporting is a major concern; validations provide transparency, education, and relationship building to improve reporting accuracy.
American journal of infection control. 2019 Jul 17 [Epub ahead of print]
Suparna Bagchi, Jennifer Watkins, Bonnie Norrick, Eileen Scalise, Daniel A Pollock, Katherine Allen-Bridson
National Healthcare Safety Network, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address: ., CACI Inc, Atlanta, GA., National Healthcare Safety Network, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.