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What are some tips for establishing a CAUTI prevention program and educating others in my organization?


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Nurse leaders from organizational development and clinical education specialists are essential team members in planning the best learning strategies and timing for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention education. This leadership team can help in establishing education priorities in light of multiple organizational initiatives. The clinical staff must then receive education aimed at CAUTI prevention to provide appropriate assessment and care for this patient population as well as accurate documentation of clinical actions. All clinical personnel should be included in the education process, since unlicensed assistive personnel provide physical care and transport patients at risk for CAUTI.

Education can and should be offered in a variety of ways, including:

  • Computer-based learning modules
  • Interactive face-to-face sessions with audiovisuals provided at council, staff, and other meetings or sessions
  • Printed materials or posters on bulletin boards (both real and virtual), in newsletters, and in staff communication books

Engaging physician champions is a key factor in the success of any CAUTI prevention program. The essential physicians to include in reviewing the literature, developing the plan, and educating their colleagues are urologists, infectious disease physicians, hospitalists, and geriatricians. In addition, the CAUTI prevention team must secure buy-in for the plan from emergency medicine physicians and intensivists since many catheters are initially inserted into patients in emergency departments and critical care units. These two physician groups have the opportunity to greatly reduce the use of catheters in an organization by strict adherence to the algorithm/decision tree that outlines rationale for catheter insertion.

-Mikel L. Gray, PhD, CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN