A quality improvement project to reduce the complications associated with indwelling urinary catheters

Urol Nurs. 2008 Dec;28(6):465-7, 473.


The indwelling urinary (Foley) catheter is a widely utilized device in the modern hospital environment in the United States. Under certain established medical conditions, these devices serve as a valuable tool in patient care. However, many indwelling urinary catheters are either placed inappropriately or are left in place longer than their intended use. This article describes a quality improvement project undertaken at the University of North Carolina Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, 8 Bed Tower Nursing Unit that developed and implemented a nurse-driven protocol to manage some of the risks associated with the use of these devices. The hospital team involved in this project was able to decrease the overall prevalence of indwelling urinary catheters from 24% to 17%.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Clinical Protocols*
  • Decision Trees
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Prevalence
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration*
  • Unnecessary Procedures / adverse effects
  • Unnecessary Procedures / nursing
  • Unnecessary Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Catheterization / nursing
  • Urinary Catheterization / statistics & numerical data
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control