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Revamped Healthcare Strategies to Prevent Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: A 2022 Update

A 2022 update on strategies to mitigate catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in acute care hospitals reveals the necessity of reducing unnecessary use of indwelling catheters and encouraging prompt removal of no-longer-required catheters. This insight is a part of fresh recommendations brought forth by five medical societies in the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology journal.

CAUTIs are known to be one of the most prevalent healthcare-associated infections. Up to 75% of urinary tract infections are attributed to indwelling urinary catheters which have resulted in higher hospital mortality, prolonged hospital stay, and an additional cost of approximately $2000 per hospitalized patient.

The leading author, Dr. Payal Patel, an Infectious disease physician at Intermountain Health, asserted that preventing such infections requires a multi-disciplinary approach, involving various healthcare team members, including doctors and nurses.

The 2022 update includes a “Disrupting the Lifecycle of the Urinary Catheter” model aiming at identifying alternatives to indwelling catheters, maintaining safe catheter practices and creating awareness among healthcare personnel for timely catheter removal. Non-catheter strategies have also been proposed, including quick toileting, using urinals or bedside commodes, incontinence garments, or non-indwelling catheter methods like intermittent straight catheterization or external urinary catheters.

Furthermore, it is advised to review daily the need for continued catheterization, considering the duration of catheterization as the pivotal risk factor for infections. This can be achieved through automated reminders or routine review of all patients using urinary catheters.

The new recommendations also advocate for staff education regarding urine culture stewardship and indications for conducting urine cultures.

This document is part of the Compendium series, a collaborative product developed by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA) along with other societies and organizations in 2008. It is the culmination of the effort put by over 100 world-renowned experts.


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