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Eliminating Central Line Infections: Lessons Learned from High-Performing Hospitals

A new synthesis report from the Commonwealth Fund shares experiences and insights from four hospitals that successfully eliminated central line-associated bloodstream infections [CLABSI] from their intensive care units in 2009. A central line infection occurs when a central venous catheter is improperly inserted or maintained. According to the report, there were about 43,000 CLABSIs nationwide in 2009 with nearly 20% resulting in patient deaths.

Four case studies focus on lessons learned from these hospitals that eliminated CLABSI in their ICUs in 2009 and are working to extend their CLABSI prevention strategies to other units:

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital [Kalamazoo MI]
  • Englewood Hospital and Medical Center [Englewood NJ]
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital [Whittier CA]
  • Southern Ohio Medical Center [Portsmouth OH]

Success factors identified for eliminating the central line infections included:

  • Following evidence-based protocols to prevent CLABSI
  • Having a dedicated team to oversee the effort
  • Participating in national, regional or state collaboratives or initiatives
  • Monitoring infection rates closely and providing feedback to staff

Source: Silow-Carroll S and Edwards JN. Eliminating central line infections and spreading success at high-performing hospitals. Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 2, 2011. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Case-Studies/2011/Dec/CLABSI-synthesis.aspx.

Individual case studies:

Silow-Carroll S and Lashbrook A. Bronson Methodist Hospital: Reducing central line bloodstream infections in critical care units and beyond. Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 2, 2011. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Case-Studies/2011/Dec/Bronson-Methodist-Hospital.aspx 

Edwards JN and Silow-Carroll S. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center: Seven consecutive quarters without a central line–associated bloodstream infection. Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 2, 2011. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Case-Studies/2011/Dec/Englewood-Hospital-and-Medical-Center.aspx

Edwards JN and Silow-Carroll S. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital: Five Years Without a Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infection. Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 2, 2011. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Case-Studies/2011/Dec/Presbyterian-Intercommunity-Hospital.aspx

Silow-Carroll S. Southern Ohio Medical Center: eliminating central line infections in the ICU.  Commonwealth Fund, Dec. 2, 2011. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Case-Studies/2011/Dec/Southern-Ohio-Medical-Center.aspx

Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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