Change in staff perspectives on indwelling urinary catheter use after implementation of an intervention bundle in seven Swiss acute care hospitals

Although indwelling urinary catheters (IUCs) are commonly used in acute care hospitals, an appropriate medical indication is often missing. IUCs are associated with urinary tract infections and non-infectious complications such as haematuria and urethral injury. The reduction of IUC use is therefore a key measure to increase patient safety. To promote safe urinary catheter use in Swiss hospitals, a national QI project was developed and conducted by the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation in partnership with Swissnoso, the National Center for Infection Control.

The QI project was modelled after other successful QI initiatives in the USA.The overall project goal was to reduce IUC use and to promote safe catheter insertion and maintenance by implementing an evidence-based intervention bundle in seven Swiss acute care hospitals.With the present study, we aimed to assess the changes in staff perspectives in the participating hospitals using survey data collected before and after implementation of the intervention bundle.

Changing staff attitudes, knowledge and behaviour are important prerequisites for an effective reduction of catheter use and catheter-associated complications. We found small but significant changes in staff perceptions after implementation of an evidence-based intervention bundle. The positive trends were present in all subgroups, indicating that regardless of responsibilities and practice of catheter placement, perspectives on urinary catheter use changed over time. Efforts now need to be targeted at reinforcing and sustaining these changes, so that restrictive use of IUCs becomes an integral part of the hospital culture.

BMJ Open

Andrea Niederhauser, Stephanie Züllig, Jonas Marschall, Alexander Schweiger, Gregor John, Stefan P Kuster, David LB Schwappach on behalf of the progress! Safe Urinary, Catheterization Collaboration Group