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Preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections
Editor’s note: The following is adapted from HCPro’s new book Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections: Build an Evidence-Based Program to Improve Patient Outcomes. For more information on this book or any other in our library, visit www.hcmarketplace.com. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are the most common of all hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). Eighty percent of urinary tract infections (UTIs) result from indwelling urinary catheters, and 12%–16% of patients admitted to acute care hospitals may have indwelling urinary catheters at some point during their stay. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of CAUTI is to reduce the use of catheters. So as the organization begins its journey, it must decide which patients truly need indwelling urinary catheters. Which patient populations with which diagnoses or conditions meet criteria for insertion? How can the organization reduce the use of catheters? Are both male and female urinals readily available for patients with urinary incontinence? Does the organization have the capability to perform noninvasive bladder scanning to assess post-void residuals? Are there patients who are candidates for intermittent catheterization to manage urinary retention and bladder drainage? These types of questions need to be considered when decisions are made to insert an indwelling urinary catheter to provide bladder drainage. The most effective method for eliminating hospital-acquired CAUTIs is prevention as a result of decreasing the use of indwelling urinary catheters (Robinson et al., 2007). The next best method to reduce infections in patients who meet the conditions for catheter placement is to limit catheter days by evaluating the reasons for continuing the catheter on a daily basis and removing the catheter at the moment patients no longer meet criteria (Saint et al., 2000; Munasinghe et al., 2001). Develop a prevention plan

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