Introduction Despite advances in infection prevention and control, catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common and remain problematic. Prolonged urinary catheterisation is the main risk factor for development of CAUTIs; hence, interventions that target early catheter removal warrant investigation. The study's objectives are to examine the efficacy of an electronic reminder system, the CATH TAG, in reducing urinary catheter use (device utilisation ratio) and to determine the effect of the CATH TAG on nurses' ability to deliver patient care. Methods and analysis This study uses a mixed methods approach in which both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected. A stepped wedge randomised controlled design in which wards provide before and after observations will be undertaken in one large Australian hospital over 24 weeks. The intervention is the use of the CATH TAG. Eligible hospital wards will receive the intervention and act as their own control, with analysis undertaken of the change within each ward using data collected in control and intervention periods. An online survey will be administered to nurses on study completion, and a focus group for nurses will be conducted 2 months after study completion. The primary outcomes are the urinary catheter device utilisation ratio and perceptions of nurses about ease of use of the CATH TAG. Secondary outcomes include a reduced number of cases of catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria, a reduced number of urinary catheters inserted per 100 patient admissions, perceptions of nurses regarding effectiveness of the CATH TAG, changes in ownership/interest by patients in catheter management, as well as possible barriers to successful implementation of the CATH TAG. Ethics and dissemination Approval has been obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committees of Avondale College of Higher Education (2017:15) and Queensland Health (HREC17QTHS19). Results will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. Trial registration number ACTRN12617001191381 (Pre-results).
- cath tag
- catheter-associated urinary tract infection
- healthcare-associated infection
- infection control