This study examined the incidence and duration of urinary catheters in acute care older adults before and after the implementation of a protocol developed to make clinicians aware of the appropriate use of catheters and the parameters for catheter removal. A total of 187 patients (99 pre-intervention, 88 post-intervention) age 65 and older admitted to a community hospital were assessed for the insertion of an indwelling urinary catheter using retrospective record review. A significant reduction was found in the incidence of indwelling urinary catheters in the post-intervention sample (from 33% to 15.3%, p = 0.006). There was a 20.4% reduction in the mean duration of urinary catheterization (from 4.9 days to 3.9 days). The catheter device-days were significantly reduced (from 136 to 44, p < 0.000). This study supports the use of a nurse-driven protocol to reduce the incidence of catheterization and improve the quality of care for hospitalized older adults.
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