Here is a low-cost method to reduce UTIs (urinary tract infections) and hospital costs:
… a new University of Michigan Health System study shows that simply having nurses flag patients’ records with a written reminder can jog the memory of busy doctors, prompt them to consider removing the catheter, and lead to a much shorter time with a catheter for many patients. The study is published in the August issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.
The written-reminder system isn’t expensive, and in fact the study finds that its cost equals or is less than the savings that a hospital could achieve by reducing infections among patients. An estimated 40 percent of infections developed by patients during their hospital stay are urinary tract infections, and most of these infections are due to urinary catheters. The cost of treating each infection that causes symptoms is estimated to be at least $500.
Of course, doctors should be mindful of lingering catheters. But shouldn’t patients be aggressive about getting this invasive tube removed? Some are, of course, but we suspect others are enjoying a respite from bathroom breaks.
The press release…
(hat tip: Gizmodo)