Vascular access device related infection reduction in outpatient hemodialysis centres

Safety IV catheter

Intravenous literature: Lindberg, C., Downham, G., Buscell, P., Jones, E., Peterson, P. and Krebs, V. (2013) Embracing collaboration: A novel strategy for reducing bloodstream infections in outpatient hemodialysis centers. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control. 41(6), p.513-519.


Background – The incidence of access-related bloodstream infections (AR-BSIs) in US outpatient hemodialysis centers is unacceptably high. This paper presents the implementation and results achieved from a multi-pronged strategy to reduce AR-BSIs in 1 outpatient hemodialysis center.

Methods – The intervention, which took place between 2009 and 2011, involved membership in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hemodialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative, implementation of a panel of infection prevention interventions, and use of positive deviance (PD) to engage staff. Changes in the incidence of AR-BSIs and infection prevention process measures between the pre- and postintervention time periods, as well as alterations in the center’s social networks, were examined to assess impact.

Results – The incidence of all AR-BSIs dropped from 2.04 per 100 patient-months preintervention to 0.75 (P = .03) after employing the Collaborative interventions and to 0.24 (P < .01) after augmenting the Collaborative interventions with PD. Adherence rates increased significantly in 4 of 5 infection prevention process measure categories. The dialysis center’s social networks became more inclusive and connected after implementation of PD.

Conclusion – Participating in a Collaborative, employing a panel of infection prevention strategies, and engaging employees through PD resulted in a significant decline in AR-BSIs in this facility. Other hemodialysis facilities should consider a similar approach.

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