Systems Approach to Evaluating Urine Culture Ordering and Collection Practices Among Nurses

Inappropriate ordering and acquisition of urine cultures leads to unnecessary treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB). Treatment of ASB contributes to antimicrobial resistance particularly among hospital-acquired organisms. Redwood, et al. (2018) sought to investigate urine culture ordering and collection practices among nurses to identify key system-level and human factor barriers and facilitators that affect optimal ordering and collection practices.

The researchers conducted two focus groups, one with ED nurses and the other with ICU nurses. Questions were developed using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) framework. They used iterative categorization (directed content analysis followed by summative content analysis) to code and analyze the data both deductively (using SEIPS domains) and inductively (emerging themes).

Factors affecting optimal urine ordering and collection included barriers at the person, process, and task levels. For ED nurses, barriers included patient factors, physician communication, reflex culture protocols, the electronic health record, urinary symptoms, and ED throughput. For ICU nurses, barriers included physician notification of urinalysis results, personal protective equipment, collection technique, patient body habitus, and Foley catheter issues.

The researchers emphasize that a systems approach to identifying barriers and facilitators can be useful to design interventions for improving urine ordering and collection practices.

Reference: Redwood R, et al. Reducing unnecessary culturing: a systems approach to evaluating urine culture ordering and collection practices among nurses in two acute-care settings. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 2018;7:4

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