Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections: A Nurse-Sensitive Indicator in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program


  • Lisa Salamon MSN GCNS-BC WOCN

    Clinical Nurse Specialist, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Lisa Salamon, MSN GCNS-BC WOCN, is a clinical nurse specialist at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.


Urinary tract infections account for 40% of all hospital-acquired infections; 80% of those infections are associated with indwelling urethral catheters. To meet the requirement for medical necessity, patients are being admitted to rehabilitation programs earlier in their hospital stays than in the past. As a result, there has been an increase in the use of urinary catheters, which prompted an evaluation of infection rates. A collaborative project between nursing and infection control was designed to collect baseline data on catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in a nonintensive care unit inpatient setting. Two inpatient rehabilitation units within our health system participated. The purpose of this article is to share the process used to determine a baseline CAUTI rate, the interventions implemented to reduce use of catheters, and the outcomes associated with this project. The results demonstrate an overall reduction in the use of catheters, as well as a reduction in CAUTI.