Objective: To determine the effect of nurse-led multidisciplinary rounds on reducing the unnecessary use of urinary catheters (UCs).
Design: Quasi-experimental study with a control group, in 3 phases: preintervention, intervention, and postintervention.
Setting: Twelve medical-surgical units within a 608-bed teaching hospital, from May 2006 through April 2007.
Intervention: A nurse trained in the indications for UC utilization participated in daily multidisciplinary rounds on 10 medical-surgical units. If no appropriate indication for a patient's UC was found, the patient's nurse was asked to contact the physician to request discontinuation. Data were collected before the intervention (for 5 days), during the intervention (for 10 days), and 4 weeks after the intervention (for 5 days). Two units served as controls.
Results: Of 4,963 patient-days observed, a UC was present in 885 (for a total of 885 "UC-days"). There was a significant reduction in the rate of UC utilization from 203 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days in the preintervention phase to 162 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days in the intervention phase (P = .002). The postintervention rate of 187 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days was higher than the rate during the intervention (P = .05) but not significantly different from the preintervention rate (P = .32). The rate of unnecessary use of UCs also decreased from 102 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days in the preintervention phase to 64 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days during the intervention phase (P < .001); and, significantly, the rate rose to 91 UC-days per 1,000 patient-days in the postintervention phase (P = .01). The rate of discontinuation of unnecessary UCs in the intervention phase was 73 (45%) of 162.
Conclusions: A nurse-led multidisciplinary approach to evaluate the need for UCs was associated with a reduction of unnecessary UC use. Efforts to sustain the intervention-induced reduction may be successful when trained advocates continue this effort with each team.