Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs)

Urinary catheterisation is a common clinical procedure. Despite the benefits of catheter use, there is always a risk that a patient with a catheter may get a urinary tract infection because of the device.

Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) have a significant burden on the health system. Compared to a patient that is not affected by a CAUTI a patient who gets a CAUTI has a hospital stay that is at least twice as long [1,2], and costs twice as much [3].

A patient with a CAUTI also is more likely to acquire a drug-resistant infection which may require treatment with more complex antimicrobial therapy [4].

Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs)


The CAUTI project was established in 2014 to help healthcare professionals in reducing the incidence of CAUTIs in acute care settings. The project is based on the basic principles for catheter insertion and management and provides decision support tools, clinician education, patient information, investigation tools, and promotional materials to promote better clinical practices.

The resources also assist health care facilities to meet the requirements of the NSW Health Guidelines - Adult Urethral Catheterisation for Acute Care Settings (GL2015_016) as well as the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, particularly:

Criterion 3.8: Developing and implementing a system for use and management of invasive devices based on the current national guidelines for preventing and controlling infections in health care
Criterion 3.9: Implementing protocols for invasive device procedures regularly performed within the organisation

Basic Principles

Basic Principles


[1] Loveday, H.P., et al., epic3: National evidence-based guidelines for preventing healthcare-associated infections in NHS hospitals in England. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2014. 86(1): p. s1-s70.
[2] Daniels, K.R., G.C. Lee, and C.R. Frei, Trends in catheter-associated urinary tract infections among a national cohort of hospitalized adults, 2001-2010. American Journal of Infection Control, 2014. 42: p. 17-22.
[3] Jackson, T.J., et al., Marginal costs of hospital acquired conditions: information for priority setting for patient safety programs and research. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 2011. 16(3): p. 141-146.
[4] Chenoweth, C.E., C.V. Gould, and S. Saint, Diagnosis, management, and prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Infect Dis Clin N Am, 2014. 28(1): p. 105-119.