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Catheter chaos: Hospitals lag in preventing common infection
Date:1/2/2008

r of the U-M/VA Patient Safety Enhancement Program, and leader of several other studies on catheter-related issues. Now that we have these data, its clear that theres no one dominant practice thats being used, including physician reminders, which have proven benefit and make a lot of common sense.

Continues Saint, who is also a U-M professor of internal medicine and a research scientist at VA Ann Arbor, The bottom line for hospitalized patients and their families is, if you have a catheter, ask the doctor or nurse every day if you really still need it.

For hospitals, the authors say they hope the study puts needed focus on the opportunities for improvement.

This issue is especially important now that hospitals will not be reimbursed as part of the Medicare system for the cost of caring for hospital-acquired urinary tract infections, says senior author Sarah Krein, Ph.D., R.N., a research assistant professor of internal medicine and research investigator at the Ann Arbor VA.

The researchers designed a survey that they sent to all 119 VA hospitals in the Unites States, and to a random sample of 600 non-federal hospitals that have an intensive care unit and 50 or more hospital beds. This sample was designed to represent the 2,671 hospitals of that type in the U.S.

The survey asked about a range of practices that can be used to prevent hospital-acquired UTIs, including the use of catheters coated with antimicrobial agents that inhibit bacterial growth, the use of condom-style and suprapubic catheters that reduce the risk of bacteria entering the urethra, the use of antimicrobial agents in the drainage bags that collect urine, and the use of portable ultrasound bladder scanners to see of patients bladders were truly being emptied without a catheter.

It also asked about system-related measures that can be used, including reminders, stop orders, monitoring systems, feedback on UTIs to patient care providers, and urinary
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System  
Source:Eurekalert

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