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A tray kit brings evidence into design

March 2011

Published in the March 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

A NEW TWIST ON A CATHETER TRAY SYSTEM is helping hospitals stamp out an old scourge: catheter- associated UTIs.

The Erase CAUTI Foley Catheter Management System (http://erasecauti.com) combines a unique tray design with built-in educational tools. At the front of the tray is a checklist to help nurses confirm that using the catheter meets one of six evidence-based indications. (If none of the indications applies, nurses are encouraged to stop the procedure and talk to the ordering physician.) When an indication is met, the nurse can note that on the checklist, peel it off the tray and put it in the patient’s chart.

"We want visual cues at the point of care to remind health care workers what the evidence shows," says Alecia Cooper, RN, MBA, senior vice president of clinical services for Medline Industries Inc., which released the tray kit last year. "If you don’t have to put a catheter in, you greatly reduce the patient’s chances of getting an infection."

To help nurses insert the catheter correctly, the kit offers directions on the outside of the packaging so nurses can quickly review the instructions on the unopened package.

"Nurses can read the directions and tips on how to prevent CAUTI before they even go into the patient’s room," Ms. Cooper says.

The kit design also features innovations to help nurses maintain a proper aseptic technique. While older kits force them to open the tray to reach sterile materials, Medline’s kit locates gloves and a drape in the first package compartment. The next compartment contains hand sanitizer that nurses can use to clean their hands before opening the rest of the kit.

The tray gives nurses a large surface to hold the catheter once it’s lubricated, to keep it sterile. It also contains a device to secure the inserted catheter to prevent urethral traction “and a bright yellow sticker to affix to the catheter tubing. That way, everyone knows exactly when the catheter was inserted and when it should be removed.

Ms. Cooper says that hospitals using the product have reported dramatic decreases in their rates of catheter-associated UTIs. Many of those hospitals, she adds, claim to have eliminated catheter-associated UTIs altogether.