Reducing Urinary Catheter Use: A Protocol for a Mixed Methods Evaluation of an Electronic Reminder System in Hospitalised Patients in Australia

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This article was originally published as:

Fasugba, O., Cheng, A. C., Russo, P. L., Northcote, M., Rosebrock, H., Mitchell, B. G. (2018). Reducing urinary catheter use: A protocol for a mixed methods evaluation of an electronic reminder system in hospitalised patients in Australia. British Medical Journal Open (BMJ Open), 8(5), 1-9. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020469

ISSN: 2044-6055


110309 Infectious Diseases| 110312 Nephrology and Urology| 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111716 Preventive Medicine

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Introduction: Despite advances in infection prevention and control, catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common and remain problematic. Prolonged urinary catheterisation is the main risk factor for development of CAUTIs; hence, interventions that target early catheter removal warrant investigation. The study’s objectives are to examine the efficacy of an electronic reminder system, the CATH TAG, in reducing urinary catheter use (device utilisation ratio) and to determine the effect of the CATH TAG on nurses’ ability to deliver patient care.

Methods and analysis: This study uses a mixed methods approach in which both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected. A stepped wedge randomised controlled design in which wards provide before and after observations will be undertaken in one large Australian hospital over 24 weeks. The intervention is the use of the CATH TAG. Eligible hospital wards will receive the intervention and act as their own control, with analysis undertaken of the change within each ward using data collected in control and intervention periods. An online survey will be administered to nurses on study completion, and a focus group for nurses will be conducted 2 months after study completion. The primary outcomes are the urinary catheter device utilisation ratio and perceptions of nurses about ease of use of the CATH TAG. Secondary outcomes include a reduced number of cases of catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria, a reduced number of urinary catheters inserted per 100 patient admissions, perceptions of nurses regarding effectiveness of the CATH TAG, changes in ownership/interest by patients in catheter management, as well as possible barriers to successful implementation of the CATH TAG.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

At the time of writing Philip Russo was affiliated with Deakin University.