Toolkit for Reducing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Hospital Units: Implementation Guide

Appendix F. Urinary Catheter Decision-Making Algorithm

Flowchart of a urinary catheter decision-making algorithm.

First Step;

Diamond: Is there a urinary catheter in place?

If No:

Curved rectangle: Avoid catheter placement.

If Yes:

Diamond: Does the patient meet criteria for catheter placement:

If No:

Curved rectangle: Contact physician to remove urinary catheter!

If Yes:


Accepted Urinary Catheter Placement Indications

  1. Acute urinary retention or obstruction
  2. Perioperative use in selected surgeries
  3. Assistance in healing of severe perineal and sacral wounds in incontinent patients
  4. Hospice/comfort care/palliative care
  5. Required strict immobilization for trauma or surgery
  6. Accurate measurement of urinary output in the critically ill patients (intensive care)

Curved rectangle: Assess patient daily for possibility of catheter removal.


Page last reviewed October 2015
Page originally created October 2015
Internet Citation: Appendix F. Urinary Catheter Decision-Making Algorithm. Content last reviewed October 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.