The influence of contaminated urine cultures in inpatient and emergency department settings

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HighlightsUrine culture contamination results in substantial impact to patients.Morbidity includes unnecessary testing and antibiotic exposure.Reducing urine culture contamination is an important quality intervention.We retrospectively evaluated 131 patients with contaminated urine cultures during a 12-month period. Sixty-four patients (48.8%) experienced 139 potential complications related to these specimens. The most common complication was inappropriate antibiotic administration (noted in 58 patients [44.3%]). Contaminated urine cultures led to additional diagnostic evaluation and unnecessary antibiotic use.

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