Best practice: Preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, July 21, 2009

Organizations pursuing ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® designation or redesignation are expected to collect and benchmark two nursing-sensitive indicators, which the organization can choose, at the unit level. Urinary tract infections is a popular choice, especially since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made infections a nonpay condition.

Evidence-based strategies help organizations reduce catheter use and thereby prevent many catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The first step for determining whether a patient requires placement or continuation of an indwelling urinary catheter is to establish whether the patient meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Bladder irrigation or medication instillation required
  • Lower urinary tract obstruction not manageable by other means
  • Neurogenic bladder conditions when intermittent catheterization is not possible
  • Need for obtaining accurate intake and output in critically ill patients
  • Massive hydration or diuresis
  • Need to provide drainage in urologic surgery or surgery to contiguous structures
  • Physician's order to place or maintain urinary catheter secondary to difficult insertion or other special procedures
  • Managing incontinence in Stage III and IV pressure ulcers
  • Promoting comfort in palliative care situations

Source: HCPro's Advisor to the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, July issue. Don't have a subscription? Take a look at the benefits of becoming a member of HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

Editor's note: Do you have a best practice you would like to share? E-mail them to senior managing editor Rebecca Hendren at and see your name in print!

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