Lose the Tube: Reducing Inappropriate Catheter Use at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto

For June’s Early Adopters Collaborative we heard from Dr. Jerome Leis, Infectious Diseases Specialist and general internist at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto. Dr. Leis discussed with participants his work on reducing inappropriate catheter use at Sunnybrook, where 18% of hospitalized patients were catheterized even though over half lacked an appropriate reason. A medical directive was developed to standardize removal of urinary catheters on transfer to the medicine ward. Staff were then trained to follow the medical directive to remove urinary catheters lacking pre- specified reasons and to follow a post-catheter care algorithm to detect and manage any urinary retention in a standard way. This medical directive resulted in a significant reduction in urinary catheter days on medical and surgical wards sustained beyond 1-year. Dr. Leis is the lead author for the Choosing Wisely Canada Toolkit ‘Lose the Tube’.

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