Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in the urinary system, which includes the bladder and kidneys. Urinary catheters can allow bacteria or yeast to travel along the catheter and cause an infection in a patient’s bladder or kidneys.

At UVA, we have identified best practices for inserting and maintaining urinary catheters. By using these specific steps, it is possible to lower a patient’s risk of getting a UTI.

We’ve made these steps part of our “standard work,” which means making the best way to complete a task the way we do it every time.

We measure CAUTI using the National Healthcare Safety Network’s Standardized Infection Ratio. This ratio takes into account the type of hospital and the different types of patients it treats.

A ratio of less than 1.0 means fewer patients got infections than expected.

Number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections at UVA - graph 2019

View data table

Urinary tract infections associated with urinary catheters in patients admitted to University Hospital. A lower number is better.