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Sending fewer urine cultures leads to decreased workload, reduced health-care costs and unnecessary use of antibiotics


Inappropriate urine cultures increase workload, health-care costs and unnecessary use of antibiotics, which can lead to adverse events. An audit at UHN ED showed that 57% of urine cultures were potentially sent unnecessarily. Over a 6-month period, PDSA cycles were run and processes were changed (ie. medical directives) to decrease the total number of urine cultures sent. Through education and feedback to providers, the number of urine cultures sent decreased by over a third with the equivalent to $27,500 in cost savings over the period.


Lindsey McMurray, Sidney Chiu, Lucas Chartier, Amy H Y Cheng, Meredith Kuipers, Sam Sabbah
Term of project
December 2014 – November 2015


​Project charter

Project presentation 

​Moderated poster presented at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine, Cape Town, April 2016

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