A Collaborative Approach Intended to Reduce the Duration of Short Term Urinary Catheters in Adult Patients at a Tertiary Care Medical Center Also Significantly Reduced the Duration of Hospitalization

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Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the leading cause of nosocomial infections in the United States. The major contributing factor is the placement of indwelling urinary catheters.

Methods: Following a chart review of adult patients hospitalized at a tertiary care medical center who required the use of a short-term (≤ 2 weeks) indwelling urinary catheter, a collaborative effort was initiated by an Infectious Diseases physician to develop protocols focused on the clinical service involved for the expeditious removal of short-term indwelling urinary catheters. The protocols relied in part on the standards of practice by pertinent medical/surgical subspecialty societies. Usage of urinary catheters and duration of hospitalization following implementation of the protocols was assessed.

Results: Based on a multivariate analysis controlling for demographic variables, comorbidities, medical vs surgical service, and indication for the urinary catheterization, the median duration of catheterization was significantly reduced from 6.7 days to 3.6 days after the protocols were initiated (P<0.001), and the median duration of hospitalization was significantly reduced from 9.5 days to 5.9 days (P<0.001). No patient had to have the urinary catheter reinserted.

Conclusion: Development of collaborative protocols for the removal of short-term indwelling urinary catheters significantly reduced both the duration of catheterization and the duration of hospitalization.

Keywords: Catheter-associated urinary tract infection; Duration of hospitalization; Duration of urinary catheterization; Short-term urinary catheterization; Urinary catheter.