Reducing Urinary Catheter Use Using an Electronic Reminder System in Hospitalized Patients: A Randomized Stepped-Wedge Trial

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Mitchell, B. G., Northcote, M., Cheng, A. C., Fasugba, O., Russo, P. L., & Rosebrock, H. (2019). Reducing urinary catheter use using an electronic reminder system in hospitalized patients: A randomized stepped-wedge trial. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 40(4), 427-431. doi: 10.1017/ice.2019.31

ISSN: 0899-823X


060502 Infectious Agents| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111716 Preventive Medicine| 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle Research Centre

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Objective: To determine the effectiveness and ease of use of an electronic reminder device in reducing urinary catheterization duration.

Design: A randomized controlled trial with a cross-sectional anonymous online survey and focus group.

Setting: Ten wards in an Australian hospital.

Participants: All hospitalized patients with a urinary catheter.

Intervention: An electronic reminder system, the CATH TAG, applied to urinary catheter bags to prompt removal of urinary catheters.

Outcomes: Catheterization duration and perceptions of nurses about the ease of use.

Methods: A Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the rate of removal of catheters. A phenomenological approach underpinned data collection and analysis methods associated with the focus group.

Results: In total, 1,167 patients with a urinary catheter were included. The mean durations in control and intervention phases were 5.51 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.9–6.2) and 5.08 days (95% CI, 4.6–5.6), respectively. For patients who had a CATH TAG applied, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.02 (95% CI, 0.91–1.14; P = .75). A subgroup analysis excluded patients in an intensive care unit (ICU), and the use of the CATH TAG was associated with a 23% decrease in the mean, from 5.00 days (95% CI, 4.44–5.56) to 3.84 days (95% CI, 3.47–4.21). Overall, 82 nurses completed a survey and 5 nurses participated in a focus group. Responses regarding the device were largely positive, and benefits for patient care were identified.

Conclusion: The CATH TAG did not reduce the duration of catheterization, but potential benefits in patients outside the ICU were identified. Electronic reminders may be useful to aid prompt removal of urinary catheters in the non-ICU hospital setting. (Received


Copyright © 2019 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.

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