Reducing inappropriate urinary catheter use: quality care initiatives

Buckley, Catherine; Clements, Charlotte; Hopper, Adrian
May 2015
British Journal of Nursing;2015 Supplement, Vol. 24, pS16
Academic Journal
Healthcare-acquired urinary infection presents a substantial burden for patients and the healthcare system. Urinary tract infections have not gained the same level of media attention as other healthcare-associated infections, yet interventions to reduce urinary catheter use are one of the top ten recommended patient safety strategies. To improve practice around urinary catheter placement and removal requires interventions to change the expectations and habits of nurses, medical teams and patients regarding the need for a urinary catheter. In the authors' trust, a redesign of the existing urinary catheter device record was undertaken to help avoid unnecessary placement of catheters, and resulted in a reduction of urinary catheters in situ longer than 48 hours. Other strategies included implementation of catheter rounds in a high-usage area, and credit-card-sized education cards. A catheter 'passport' was introduced for patients discharged with a catheter to ensure information for insertion and ongoing use were effectively communicated.


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