A point prevalence study of healthcare associated urinary tract infections in Australian acute and aged care facilities

Brett Mitchell 1,2Oyebola Fasugba 1, Wendy Beckingham 3, Noleen Bennett 4, Anne Gardner 1

Australian Catholic University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Avondale College of Higer Education, Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia

Canberra Hospital and Health Services, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System Coordinating Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Most healthcare-associated urinary tract infections (HAUTIs) including catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are potentially preventable through implementation of effective strategies. To provide the foundation for a national point prevalence study of HAUTIs including CAUTIs, a three phase project was developed. This study reports the findings of Phase II which aimed to (1) pilot an online process including online database for conducting point prevalence survey of HAUTIs and CAUTIs and (2) determine the point prevalence of HAUTIs and CAUTIs in acute and aged care facilities.

We estimated the point prevalence of HAUTIs and CAUTIs across eighty-two acute care and seventeen aged care facilities in Australia, using internationally recognised definitions. Patient records and laboratory results were surveyed using a web based questionnaire.

A total of 1320 patients and 663 residents were surveyed. The median age was 74 years (interquartile range, 58-84 years) for acute care patients and 86 years (interquartile range, 79-90 years) for aged care residents. Overall HAUTI and CAUTI prevalence was 1.4% (CI: 0.8-2.2) and 0.2% (CI: 0-0.5) in acute care and 1.5% (CI: 0.8-2.6) and 0.3% (CI: 0-0.8) in aged care. There were 9.3% and 3.3% of patients and residents respectively with a urinary catheter in place on the survey day.

While the overall level of HAUTIs is low in both acute and aged care settings, given the burden and high risk of systemic sepsis from UTI, we should aim for zero HAUTI prevalence.

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