A National Implementation Project to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection in Nursing Home Residents

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Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (UTI) in nursing home residents is a common cause of sepsis, hospital admission, and antimicrobial use leading to colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms.


To develop, implement, and evaluate an intervention to reduce catheter-associated UTI.

Design, Setting, and Participants

A large-scale prospective implementation project was conducted in community-based nursing homes participating in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Safety Program for Long-Term Care. Nursing homes across 48 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico participated. Implementation of the project was conducted between March 1, 2014, and August 31, 2016.


The project was implemented over 12-month cohorts and included a technical bundle: catheter removal, aseptic insertion, using regular assessments, training for catheter care, and incontinence care planning, as well as a socioadaptive bundle emphasizing leadership, resident and family engagement, and effective communication.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Urinary catheter use and catheter-associated UTI rates using National Healthcare Safety Network definitions were collected. Facility-level urine culture order rates were also obtained. Random-effects negative binomial regression models were used to examine changes in catheter-associated UTI, catheter utilization, and urine cultures and adjusted for covariates including ownership, bed size, provision of subacute care, 5-star rating, presence of an infection control committee, and an infection preventionist.


In 4 cohorts over 30 months, 568 community-based nursing homes were recruited; 404 met inclusion criteria for analysis. The unadjusted catheter-associated UTI rates decreased from 6.78 to 2.63 infections per 1000 catheter-days. With use of the regression model and adjustment for facility characteristics, the rates decreased from 6.42 to 3.33 (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.36-0.58; P < .001). Catheter utilization was 4.5% at baseline and 4.9% at the end of the project. Catheter utilization remained unchanged (4.50 at baseline, 4.45 at conclusion of project; IRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.88-1.03; P = .26) in adjusted analyses. The number of urine cultures ordered for all residents decreased from 3.49 per 1000 resident-days to 3.08 per 1000 resident-days. Similarly, after adjustment, the rates were shown to decrease from 3.52 to 3.09 (IRR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.77-0.94; P = .001).

Conclusions and Relevance

In a large-scale, national implementation project involving community-based nursing homes, combined technical and socioadaptive catheter-associated UTI prevention interventions successfully reduced the incidence of catheter-associated UTIs.

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