Effectiveness of a simple intervention for prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections in a community teaching hospital

Am J Infect Control. 2010 Nov;38(9):689-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2010.05.028.


Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CA-UTI) is the most common health care-associated infection. Instrumentation of the urinary tract, mainly urinary catheterization, is the most important risk factor for CA-UTI. It is believed that proper catheter management can reduce the incidence of CA-UTI.

Methods: This was a prospective preintervention and postintervention study conducted to assess the effect of an intervention aimed at preventing CA-UTI. A reminder sticker was placed on each patient's medical record binder to remind the physicians to consider discontinuing any unnecessary urinary catheters.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in the number of appropriately retained urinary catheters at 3 months (57% vs 73%; P = .007) and 6 months postintervention (57% vs 86%; P < .001). There was also a statistically significant reduction in the rate of CA-UTI after 3 months (7.02 vs 2.08; P < .001) and 6 months postintervention (7.02 vs 2.72; P < .001).

Conclusion: A simple intervention using a sticker placed on patients' medical record binder to remind physicians to remove unnecessary urinary catheters can significantly increase the appropriate utilization of urinary catheters and decrease the rate of CA-UTI in community teaching hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*