The Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections Using a Novel At-home Testing Protocol to Enhance Telemedicine: A Retrospective Analysis

Urology. 2023 Mar:173:26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2022.12.023. Epub 2023 Jan 10.


Objective: To retrospectively analyze a novel courier-based home urine collection strategy for patients with symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This model was developed to provide patient care using telehealth during the coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

Methods: We analyzed data from 2206 patients with symptomatic UTIs to investigate the efficacy of a home urine collection protocol. The primary outcome was the impact of home versus office collection.

Results: We analyzed the results of 1112 patient samples collected in-office and 1084 patient samples collected at home. There was no difference in the rate of bacterial identification between females in the office and home collection groups. However, males in the office collection group had a higher rate of bacterial identification (p = .002). The turnaround time was significantly faster in the home collection group than the office collection group (4.08 hours shorter, p < 0.0014). Antibiotic use prior to sample collection was significantly higher in the home collection group for both males (p = .0004) and females (p = .004). Changes in antibiotics were significantly higher in the home collection group than in the office collection group for both males (p = .0009) and females (p = .0006).

Conclusion: Our home collection protocol is a viable method to provide prompt and reliable outpatient care to urology patients suffering from UTIs. Furthermore, this approach resulted in adequate management and quicker turnaround times. Our findings demonstrate the clinical viability of a decentralized healthcare model to treat UTIs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Telemedicine*
  • Urinary Tract Infections* / microbiology
  • Urology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents