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New Strategies for Preventing Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Hospitals: An Updated Approach

A noteworthy physician at Intermountain Health, Dr. Payal Patel, is presently at the forefront of a nationwide initiative aimed at curbing one of the most frequently occurring types of infections among hospital patients. This initiative not only seeks to improve patient care but also attempts to cut down on superfluous expenses. Dr. Patel, who is an infectious disease specialist, has recently penned down novel national recommendations in conjunction with five medical societies. These guidelines, which have been published in the esteemed medical journal ‘Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology’, pertain specifically to the updated usage protocols for indwelling urinary catheters in hospital settings.

Urinary catheters, inserted into the bladder to allow free-flowing urine collection during hospital stays, can cause complications in up to a quarter of all patients. These complications might lead to catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) resulting in further illness, elongated hospital stays, and inflated healthcare expenses. Dr. Patel’s guidelines outline practical ways to prevent such infections, especially emphasizing the importance of avoiding unnecessary use of indwelling catheters and promptly removing them when no longer required. The essential practice also includes the education of healthcare professionals about urine culture stewardship and providing concrete indications for urine cultures.

In addition to the catheter-related strategies, the updated recommendations include a model titled ‘Disrupting the Lifecycle of the Urinary Catheter’ which suggests alternative strategies. These include the use of urinals, bedside commodes, incontinence garments, timely toileting, and non-indwelling catheter methods. Besides, these guidelines stress the importance of daily review of continued catheterization, proper positioning of catheters to avoid infection risks, and the availability of non-catheter supplies for managing patients’ urinary issues.

This groundbreaking publication succeeds the ‘Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals’ document published in 2014. It is part of a compendium sponsored by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology and represents the collaborative efforts of various organizations and societies with specific content expertise. For further details, one can visit


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