Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a multifaceted hospitalwide quality improvement program that featured an intervention to remind physicians to remove unnecessary urinary catheters.
Methods: A hospitalwide preintervention-postintervention study was conducted over 2 years (July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2006). The intervention consisted of nurse-generated daily reminders that were used by an intervention team to remind physicians to remove unnecessary urinary catheters, beginning 3 days after insertion. Clinical, microbiological, pharmaceutical, and cost data were collected.
Results: A total of 2,412 patients were enrolled in the study. No differences were found in the demographic and/or clinical characteristics of patients between the preintervention and postintervention periods. After the intervention, reductions were found in the rate of inappropriate urinary catheterization (mean rate, preintervention vs postintervention, 20.4% vs 11% [P=.04]), the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CA-UTI) (mean rate, 21.5 vs 5.2 infections per 1,000 catheter-days [P<.001]), the duration of urinary catheterization (mean, 11 vs 3 days [P<.001]), and the total length of hospitalization (mean, 16 vs 5 days [P<.001]). A linear relationship was seen between the monthly average duration of catheterization and the rate of CA-UTI (r=0.89; P<.001). The intervention had the greatest impact on the rate of CA-UTI in the intensive care units (mean rate, preintervention vs postintervention, 23.4 vs 3.5 infections per 1,000 catheter-days [P=.01]). The monthly hospital costs for antibiotics to treat CA-UTI were reduced by 63% (mean, $3,739 vs $1,378 [P<.001]), and the hospitalization cost for each patient during the intervention was reduced by 58% (mean, $366 vs $154 [P<.001]).
Conclusions: This study suggests that a multifaceted intervention to remind physicians to remove unnecessary urinary catheters can significantly reduced the duration of urinary catheterization and the CA-UTI rate in a hospital in a developing country.