Better documentation of catheter use can drastically reduce today’s healthcare-related infections. An idea from healthcare workers at the urological clinic is now being further developed together with Flemingsberg Science.
Care related infections, widely referred to as hospital superbugs, create some 750,000 extra care days at a cost of around SEK 6.5 million per year. A large proportion of these are infections that are caused by catheters.
“It’s unclear who is responsible at various points of the care process, and how documentation should be kept. We have likened this to a puzzle where everyone has their own piece, but no one takes responsibility for the whole puzzle,” says Helena Thulin, a nurse at the urology clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Following the patients
Together with Märta Lauritzen, chef of urethral therapy unit at the urological clinic, she has developed a concept for how catheters can be better tracked and treatment better monitored. The concept incorporates a documentation module that works together with a barcode reader. The module is connected to the journal system to follow patients.
“As things stand, catheter treatments are loosely connected processes where documentation is made in different systems. Healthcare staff who start a treatment have no idea how it ends, and the staff who oversee the conclusion of a treatment do not always know why it started,” explains Lauritzen.
In the longer term, the system could be used for any medical technical products that patients come into contact with – whatever it takes to make life easier for caregivers and increase patient safety. The innovation unit at Karolinska University Hospital and Flemingsberg Science have supported the development of the system.