Q: A patient comes back from the operating room with a urinary catheter in place but no urine meter and is on hourly outputs. What is the best practice to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) while adding a urine meter?

A: Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, replies:

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are the most common type of health care–associated infections reported to the National Health Safety Network. It is estimated that more than 75% of UTIs are associated with an indwelling urinary catheter. The question regarding adding a urine meter is commonly encountered in intensive care units where accurate urine output measurements for hemodynamically unstable patients require hourly monitoring with a urine meter. Ensuring accurate assessment of urine output, while preventing CAUTI, is essential to maintaining patient safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Institute...

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