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AACN Advanced Critical Care:
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Reducing Foley Catheter Device Days in an Intensive Care Unit: Using the Evidence to Change Practice

Reilly, Laura RN, BSN, CCRN; Sullivan, Patty RN, BAIS, CIC; Ninni, Sharon RN, BSN, CCRN; Fochesto, Denise RN, MSN, CCRN, APN-C; Williams, Karen BS, MT (ASCP) CIC; Fetherman, Brandee RN, BSN, CCRN

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Abstract

The prolonged use of indwelling urinary catheters can lead to many complications, the most prevalent being urinary tract infections. These hospital-acquired infections can increase hospital costs, length of stay, and mortality rates. Evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of urinary tract infections are compared and discussed. Minimizing indwelling urinary catheter use is well-recognized in the literature to reduce the risk of these infections. To decrease the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, the staff of a 22-bed, mixed medical, surgical, and trauma intensive care unit focused on reducing the number of foley catheter device days. A multidisciplinary team was convened to create an evidence-based plan. Staff nurses were engaged in the development and implementation of the plan. Criteria-based foley catheter guidelines, a decision-making algorithm, and a daily checklist were implemented that led to a significant reduction in foley catheter device days and a decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

© 2006 American Association of Critical–Care Nurses

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