AHRQ Safety Program for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals

This ongoing project will result in resources to help clinicians and hospital staff reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in hospital patients.


About This Project

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is among the most common types of healthcare-associated infection, resulting in harm to patients, longer hospital stays, and added health care costs. Proven methods exist to prevent most cases of CAUTI, but understanding how to make those proven methods the norm in a complex health care setting is challenging. AHRQ funded this implementation project to investigate ways to help clinicians and hospital staff hard-wire these methods into everyday practice to protect their patients from CAUTI. 

In this project, researchers are building on the success of a previous Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) project focusing on central line-associated bloodstream infections. They are working with State organizations and hospitals across the country to provide targeted assistance to implement the core CUSP Toolkit coupled with a module of specific guidelines and best practices for reducing CAUTI. When the project is complete, the CAUTI module will be refined based on feedback from the field and made available free for others to use. This 4-year project is expected to end in August 2015.

Preliminary Results

AHRQ released an interim report on this project in 2013. Overall, preliminary outcome data show a 16 percent average decrease in CAUTI rates among hospital units 14 months after implementing CUSP. Download the report to learn more.

National Project Team

This project is led by the Health Research & Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association. The National Project Team consists of the following organizations:

  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality.
  • The University of Michigan Health System.
  • St. John Hospital and Medical Center.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Experts from the following organizations are also involved in this project:

  • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
  • Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).
  • Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
  • Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM).
Page last reviewed July 2015
Internet Citation: AHRQ Safety Program for Reducing CAUTI in Hospitals. July 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/hais/tools/cauti-hospitals/index.html