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
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
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.
Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital
Winner of the Best
Team - Clinical Practice Improvement (ILTC) Award, Singapore Health Quality
Service Awards 2018