Bringing Practice in Line With Published Guidelines Relating to CAUTI

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. However, many cases treated as hospital-acquired CAUTI are actually asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU). Evidence-based guidelines recommend that providers neither screen for nor treat ABU in most catheterized patients, but there is a significant gap between these guidelines and clinical practice.

Barbara W. Trautner, of the Houston Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues, describe a study protocol published in Implementation Science. Their objectives are to evaluate the effectiveness of an audit and feedback intervention for increasing guideline-concordant care concerning catheter-associated ABU and to measure improvements in healthcare providers' knowledge of and attitudes toward the practice guidelines associated with the intervention.

The researchers report that the study uses a controlled pre/post design to test an intervention using audit and feedback of healthcare providers to improve their compliance with ABU guidelines. The intervention and the control sites are two VA hospitals. For objective 1, Trautner, et al. will review medical records to measure the clinical outcomes of inappropriate screening for and treatment of catheter-associated ABU. For objective 2, the researchers will survey providers' knowledge and attitudes.

The researchers propose three phases of their protocol: the first 12-month phase will involve observation of the baseline incidence of inappropriate screening for and treatment of ABU at both sites. This surveillance for clinical outcomes will continue at both sites throughout the study. Phase 2 consists of 12 months of individualized audit and feedback at the intervention site and guidelines distribution at both sites. The third phase, also over 12 months, will provide unit-level feedback at the intervention site to assess sustainability. Healthcare providers at the intervention site during phase 2 and at both sites during phase 3 will complete pre/post surveys of awareness and familiarity (knowledge), as well as of acceptance and outcome expectancy (attitudes) regarding the relevant practice guidelines.

Trautner, et al. say that their proposal to bring clinical practice in line with published guidelines has significant potential to decrease overdiagnosis of CAUTI and associated inappropriate antibiotic use. They add that their study will also provide information about how to maximize effectiveness of audit and feedback to achieve guideline adherence in the inpatient setting.

Reference: Trautner BW, Kelly PA, Petersen N, Hysong S, Kell H, Liao KS, Patterson JE and Naik AD. A hospital site controlled intervention using audit and feedback to implement guidelines concerning inappropriate treatment of catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria. Implementation Science 2011, 6:41 doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-41