Research & Program Areas

Identifying and Reducing Catheter-Related Complications

Urinary catheters, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs), and midline catheters are medical devices commonly used in hospitals. Although these devices are important for the care and management of many patients, they also are associated infections and other serious and potentially life-threatening complications. The full range and long-term consequences of these complications are currently unknown. Because of this gap in our knowledge, important opportunities for improving safety and reducing potential harms are yet to be identified and implemented.

The purpose of this multi-site study is to better understand and then develop strategies to address the infections and other complications associated with the use of urinary catheters, PICCs, and midlines.  Investigators are using a prospective observational design in which hospitalized patients at four medical centers who have either a urinary catheter, a PICC or a midline will be identified and followed for 90 days post-insertion. Information about both infectious and non-infectious device-related complications during this 90-day period will be collected from medical records as well as by patient self-report. These data will be used to develop and test strategies for reducing urinary catheter related complications and  complications from PICCs and midlines. The study is led by CMCD affiliates Sarah Krein, PhD, RN and Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH. CMCD staff are coordinating the development of the mobile health Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform and website that will be used to gather information from patients about their experience with catheters.

For more information, contact John Colozzi at


Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

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