Nationwide project: Reducing inappropiate intravenous and urinary catheters

Interne Geneeskunde, Ziekenhuisbreed
Interne Geneeskunde, Ziekenhuisbreed
Intravenous and urinary catheters are burdensome for patients and pose a risk of infections. It is therefore important to use them carefully. Under the coordination of the Amsterdam UMC, seven hospitals have reduced the percentage of incorrect urinary catheters from 32% to 24% and the percentage of incorrect infusions from 22% to 14%. The results of this project* were recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases**. This successful intervention is now being enrolled nationally.

* View the original project
** View The Lancet publication


Our project team introduced the project in all hospitals in The Netherlands. Once interested every hospital or deparement starts with the measurement of the number of incorrect IVs and catheters. The easiest way for care professionals to start is to check whether patients in the nursing ward(s) have an urinary catheter or IV and assess whether this is correct or incorrect.

Then they look where there is room for improvement, and set up a strategy to achieve such an improvement. Several strategies are possible and available:

  • Organizing educational meetings for doctors and nurses
  • Distribute posters and pocket cards
  • Assign Local Clinical Leader(s)
  • Making changes to the EPD
  • Making local working arrangements (such as that infusions and catheters become a standard subject of the patient visit)
  • Share results and ideas with other hospitals in a learning network

Until now (September 2022) 30 hospitals joined this intervention program. They share their efforts in a Learning network called ‘Better without a catheter’. In 2023 we will be able to present results from the participating hospitals.

Learn more?

If you are interested or have questions, please contact Eva Verkerk or Tijn Kool.


Eva Verkerk

onderzoeker | Radboudumc

Tijn Kool

programmaleider Doen of laten? | Radboudumc

Maike Raasing

verpleegkundige neurochirurgie en coördinator van Beter zonder Katheter | Radboudumc