Objective: To evaluate the effect of education and performance feedback regarding compliance with catheter care and handwashing on rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (UTI) in intensive care units (ICUs).
Setting: Two level III adult ICUs in a private healthcare facility in Argentina.
Patients: All adult patients admitted to the study units who had a urinary catheter in place for at least 24 hours.
Methods: A prospective, open trial in which rates of catheter-associated UTI determined during a baseline period of active surveillance without education and performance feedback were compared with rates of catheter-associated UTI after implementing education and performance feedback.
Results: There were 1,779 catheter-days during the baseline period and 5,568 catheter-days during the intervention period. Compliance regarding prevention of compression of the tubing by a leg improved (from 83% to 96%; relative risk [RR], 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.03 to 1.28; P = .01) and so did compliance with handwashing (from 23.1% to 65.2%; RR, 2.82; CI95, 2.49 to 3.20; P < .0001). Catheter-associated UTI rates decreased significantly from 21.3 to 12.39 per 1,000 catheter-days (RR, 0.58; CI%, 0.39 to 0.86; P = .006).
Conclusion: Implementing education and performance feedback regarding catheter care measures and handwashing compliance was associated with a significant reduction in catheter-associated UTI rates. Similar programs may help reduce catheter-associated UTI rates in other Latin American hospitals.