The Influence of an Electronic Medical Record Embedded Best Practice Alert on Rate of Hospital Acquired Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections: Do Best Practice Alerts Reduce CAUTIs?


      To understand if an electronic medical record embedded best practice alert decreased our hospital's Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and catheter utilization (CU) rates.


      Data from our inpatient prospective CAUTI database, spanning 2011 to 2016, were utilized for our analysis with the Best Practice Alert (BPA) starting in 2013. Using generalized linear models we compared the CU and CAUTI rates between pre- and post-BPA periods in different patient subpopulations.


      We identified no decrease in the CU rate and no effect on the CAUTI rates as a result of the BPA. However, there was an increase in CAUTI rates in our adult intensive care unit (ICU) population from 0.2 to 1.8 CAUTIs per 1,000 catheter days (P <.01) despite a significant decrease in CU rate within this population after the BPA (pre-BPA odds ratio [OR] 0.93 vs post-BPA OR 0.89; P <0.01). In contrast, our non-ICU adult population had a decrease in CAUTI rate from 2.8 to 1.7 CAUTIs per 1,000 catheter days (P <.01) despite no significant decrease after the BPA (pre-BPA OR 0.90 vs post-BPA OR 0.95; P <.1).


      CAUTI rates are exceedingly low, with or without the use of a BPA. Such an alert appears to have limited success in lowering CU rates in populations where catheter use is already low and may not always lead to an improvement in CAUTI rates as there appears to be some populations that may be more prone to CAUTI development secondary to possible intrinsic or co-morbid conditions.
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