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

Appendix G . Urinary Catheter Project Fact Sheet

Urinary Catheter Project


  • 600,000 patients develop hospital-acquired urinary tract infections per year.
  • 80% of these are urinary catheter associated.
  • Approximately half of the patients with a urinary catheter do not have a valid indication for placement.
  • Each day a urinary catheter remains, the risk of a catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) increases 5%.


  • To decrease CAUTI.
  • To improve patient safety.
  • To teach nurses the indications for urinary catheter use.
  • To reduce the unnecessary use of urinary catheters in the inpatient setting.

Prevention of CAUTI

Follow criteria indicated for a urinary catheter:

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

Remember: promptly remove unnecessary urinary catheters!

Page last reviewed October 2015
Page originally created October 2015
Internet Citation: Appendix G . Urinary Catheter Project Fact Sheet. Content last reviewed October 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.