To date, there has been a shortage of evidence-based quality improvement initiatives that have shown positive outcomes in the neurosurgical patient population. A single-institution prospective intervention trial with continuous feedback was conducted to investigate the implementation of a urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention bundle to decrease the catheter-associated UTI rate.
All patients admitted to the adult neurological intensive care unit (neuro ICU) during a 30-month period were included. The study consisted of two 1-month preintervention observation periods (approximately 1200 catheter days) followed by a 30-month intervention phase (20,394 catheter days). A comprehensive evidence-based UTI bundle encompassing avoidance of catheter insertion, maintenance of sterility, product standardization, and early catheter removal was enacted.
The urinary catheter utilization rate dropped from 100% to 73.3% during the intervention phase (p < 0.0001) without any increase in the rate of sacral decubitus ulcers or other skin breakdown. The rate of catheter-associated UTI was also significantly reduced from 13.3 to 4.0 infections per 1000 catheter days (p < 0.001). There was a linear relationship between the decreased quarterly catheter utilization rate and the decreased catheter-associated UTI rate (r2 = 0.79, p < 0.0001).
This single-center prospective study demonstrated that a comprehensive UTI prevention bundle along with a continuous quality improvement program can significantly reduce the duration of urinary catheterization and rate of catheter-associated UTI in a neuro ICU.