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Effectiveness of Multifaceted Hospitalwide Quality Improvement Programs Featuring an Intervention to Remove Unnecessary Urinary Catheters at a Tertiary Care Center in Thailand

  • Anucha Apisarnthanarak (a1), Kanokporn Thongphubeth (a1), Sirinaj Sirinvaravong (a2), Danai Kitkangvan (a2), Chananart Yuekyen (a1), Boonyasit Warachan (a3), David K. Warren (a4) and Victoria J. Fraser (a4)...

To evaluate the efficacy of a multifaceted hospitalwide quality improvement program that featured an intervention to remind physicians to remove unnecessary urinary catheters.


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.


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]).


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.

Corresponding author
Division of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasart University Hospital, Pratumthani, Thailand 12120 (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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