Quality statement 2: Diagnosing urinary tract infections in adults with catheters

Quality statement

Healthcare professionals do not use dipstick testing to diagnose urinary tract infections in adults with urinary catheters.

Rationale

Dipstick testing is not an effective method for detecting urinary tract infections in catheterised adults. This is because there is no relationship between the level of pyuria and infection in people with indwelling catheters (the presence of the catheter invariably induces pyuria without the presence of infection). To ensure that urinary tract infections are diagnosed accurately and to avoid false positive results, dipstick testing should not be used.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure healthcare professionals do not use dipstick testing to diagnose urinary tract infections in adults with urinary catheters.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

Proportion of episodes of suspected urinary tract infection in adults with urinary catheters that are investigated using dipstick testing.

Numerator – the number in the denominator assessed using dipstick testing.

Denominator – the number of episodes of suspected urinary tract infection in adults with urinary catheters.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as hospitals, community services, care homes and GPs) ensure that training and education programmes are kept up to date so that healthcare professionals do not use dipstick testing to diagnose urinary tract infections in adults with urinary catheters.

Healthcare professionals ensure that dipstick testing is not used to diagnose urinary tract infections in adults with urinary catheters.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups, NHS England area teams) ensure that providers are aware that adults with urinary catheters should not have urinary tract infections diagnosed by dipstick testing.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

Adults with urinary catheters do not have urinary tract infections diagnosed by dipstick testing.

Source guidance