Administration of indwelling urinary catheters in four Australian Hospitals: cost-effectiveness analysis of a multifaceted nurse-led intervention.

Urinary catheters are useful among hospital patients for allowing urinary flows and preparing patients for surgery. However, urinary infections associated with catheters cause significant patient discomfort and burden hospital resources. A nurse led intervention aiming to reduce inpatient catheterisation rates was recently trialled among adult overnight patients in four New South Wales hospitals. It included: 'train-the trainer' workshops, site champions, compliance audits and promotional materials. This study is the 'in-trial' cost-effectiveness analysis, conducted from the perspective of the New South Wales Ministry of Health.

The primary outcome variable was catheterisation rates. Catheterisation and procedure/treatment data were collected in three point prevalence patient surveys: pre-intervention (n = 1630), 4-months (n = 1677), and 9-months post-intervention (n = 1551). Intervention costs were based on trial records while labour costs were gathered from wage awards. Incremental cost effectiveness ratios were calculated for 4- and 9-months post-intervention and tested with non-parametric bootstrapping. Sensitivity scenarios recalculated results after adjusting costs and parameters.

The trial found reductions in catheterisations across the four hospitals between preintervention (12.0 % (10.4 - 13.5 %), n = 195) and the 4- (9.9 % (8.5 - 11.3 %), n = 166 ) and 9- months (10.2 % (8.7 - 11.7 %) n = 158) post-intervention points. The trend was statistically non-significant (p = 0.1). Only one diagnosed CAUTI case was observed across the surveys. However, statistically and clinically significant decreases in catheterisation rates occurred for medical and critical care wards, and among female patients and short-term catheterisations. Incremental cost effectiveness ratios at 4-months and 9-months post-intervention were $188 and $264. Bootstrapping found reductions in catheterisations at positive costs over at least 72 % of iterations. Sensitivity scenarios showed that cost effectiveness was most responsive to changes in catheterisation rates.

Analysis showed that the association between the intervention and changes in catheterisation rates was not statistically significant. However, the intervention resulted in statistically significant reductions for subgroups including among short-term catheterisations and female patients. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that reductions in catheterisations were most likely achieved at positive cost.

Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12617000090314). First hospital enrolment, 15/11/2016; last hospital enrolment, 8/12/2016.

BMC health services research. 2021 Aug 31*** epublish ***

Rod Ling, Michelle Giles, Andrew Searles

Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia. ., University of Newcastle, School of Medicine and Public Health, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia., Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia.

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