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...

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