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When a child is sick, it is sometimes necessary for them to have an indwelling urinary catheter, sometimes referred to as a “foley." While catheters help patients during their recovery, they do have some risks, such as catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

Reducing harm caused by CAUTI is an important aspect of increasing patient safety. In order to reduce the frequency of CAUTI, we use several strategies before and after a urinary catheter is inserted. We also record when these patients get urinary tract infections to learn how we can improve our care systems and avoid these events in the future.

How are we doing?

For patients admitted to the hospital, we track the number of urinary tract infections associated with the use of an indwelling urinary catheter. Tracking the number of CAUTI in this way helps us measure the effectiveness of our efforts to reduce CAUTI.

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As you can see in the graph, we consistently have a low frequency of CAUTI. Our goal, however, is to further reduce, or even eliminate, CAUTI among our patients.

What are we doing to improve?

We track CAUTI that occur in the hospital, and these data are reviewed by our Infection Prevention and Control team, along with other doctors, nurses, and administrators who recommend and implement changes to prevent similar events from occurring again. The strategies to prevent CAUTI include using proper technique for inserting and maintaining the indwelling urinary catheter. We also emphasize the importance of avoiding unnecessary indwelling urinary catheter use and removing the indwelling urinary catheter when it is no longer needed. Rounding is performed to ensure compliance with these strategies, and family representatives are part of our subject matter expert team to help us identify ways to continuously improve.

How do we collaborate with other hospitals to improve patient safety?

We submit our CAUTI data monthly to the Children's Hospitals' Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) national collaborative. More than 100 hospitals from around the United States participate in this network that tracks hospital-acquired conditions to share best practices regarding patient safety. The goal is not to compare performance but to learn from each other and reduce serious harm across all hospitals.

* — Comparative Rate: SPS Network Aggregate Rate