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1 in 2 Catheter-Linked UTIs Avoidable, Study Says

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 17, 2010

The researchers suggest that systems that seem to work elsewhere involve programs that impose an automatic reminder either on the electronic medical record or through some other mechanism, requiring a physician, physician's assistant or registered nurse to check daily on whether the catheter is still required.

Also effective are "stop orders," in which the order for a catheter expires in the same fashion as an order for restraints in a patient with behavioral issues or antibiotics in a patient with an infection.

"Stop orders directed at physicians required an order to renew or discontinue the catheter on the basis of review at specific intervals, such as every 24 to 72 hours or on specific post-procedure days," the report said. Stop orders directed at nurses might empower nurses to remove the catheter on the basis of indications without requiring the nurse to first obtain a physician-signed order.

"Overall, decreased catheter use was reported in all 11 studies publishing at least one outcome of catheter use, with 8 studies revealing a statistically significant decrease between non-intervention groups and the first post-intervention measure."

The authors wrote that they "hope that our results will encourage more hospitals to adopt reminders or stop orders as low-cost interventions that enhance patient safety."

See Also: Top 10 Most Costly, Frequent Medical Errors


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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1 comments on "1 in 2 Catheter-Linked UTIs Avoidable, Study Says"


John Silver (9/16/2010 at 8:14 AM)
The idea that physicians don't know about catheters in their patients is ludicrous. Catheters need to be ordered, they do not fall under independent nursing actions. If physicians don't know about them, maybe they need to be better physicians