Urinary catheters can be tricky. They are inserted into urinary systems to help drain urine, however, if proper care is not taken, they can cause catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). This can result in symptoms such as fever and pain and treatment of urinary infections which lead to longer hospital stays.

When a multidisciplinary team analysed the CAUTI cases, they found that majority of patients had an indwelling catheter (IDC) on admission, and went on to develop CAUTI with the same IDC.

To prevent this and ensure that clinicians deliver good catheter care, new protocols were drawn up. These include visual reminders in the form of small signboards put up by the bedside of patients who are admitted with a catheter. In addition, nurses are now empowered to remove catheters in uncomplicated cases, instead of waiting for doctors to give the go-ahead. S-hooks were introduced to allow patients to hook their urine bag from the pocket of the hospital gown, keeping the bag low and preventing contents from flowing back.

Thanks to these measures, the hospital now sees zero to one CAUTI case a month, a significant reduction from the five to seven cases seen previously.

CAUTI Eliminators
Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital

Winner of the Best Team - Clinical Practice Improvement (ILTC) Award, Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2018