Reminder Systems Can Reduce Catheter-Associated UTIs

August 19, 2010

A new study shows that more than half of all catheter-related UTIs can be prevented by implementing stop orders and reminders to physicians and nurses that a catheter is in place.

A new study shows that more than half of all catheter-related urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be prevented by implementing stop orders and reminders to physicians and nurses that a catheter is in place.

According to research published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, using these reminders resulted in a 52% decrease in catheter-associated UTIs and a 37% reduction in the mean time of catheterization.

Jennifer Meddings, MD, and colleagues from the University of Michigan conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies in which reminders were issued to physicians and nurses that a urinary catheter was in place, or stop orders were used to prompt catheter removal in hospitalized adults. A total of 118 articles were reviewed, with 14 meeting the selection criteria.

They found that the use of reminders or stop orders resulted in 2.61 fewer days of catheterization per patient in the intervention versus control groups, and that the “pooled standardized mean difference in the duration of catheterization was -1.11 overall, including a statistically significant decrease in studies that used a stop order but not in those that used a reminder.” Recatheterization rates, they determined, were similar in the control and intervention groups.

In light of these findings, Meddings and colleagues recommend that reminders and stop orders “should be strongly considered to enhance the safety of hospitalized patients.”