Nurse-directed interventions to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Am J Infect Control. 2012 Aug;40(6):548-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.07.018. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Background: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common, morbid, and costly. Nearly 25% of hospitalized patients are catheterized yearly, and 10% develop urinary tract infections. Evidence-based guidelines exist for indwelling urinary catheter management but are not consistently followed.

Methods: A pre/post intervention design was used in this quality improvement project to test the impact of nurse-driven interventions based on current evidence to reduce CAUTIs in hospitalized patients on 2 medical/surgical units. Interventions consisted of hospital-wide strategies including policy and product improvements and unit-specific strategies that focused on a review of current evidence to guide practice.

Results: The number of catheter days decreased from 3.01 to 2.2 (P = .018) on the surgery unit and from 3.53 to 2.7 (P = .076) on the medical unit. CAUTI rates were too low to achieve significant reduction. Product cost savings were estimated at $52,000/year.

Conclusion: Guidelines derived from research and other sources of evidence can successfully improve patient outcomes. Nurse-driven interventions, combined with system-wide product changes, and patient and family involvement may be effective strategies that reduce CAUTI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*