Zero CLABSI rates acknowledged at APIC

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Intravenous news: News Medical report “Nurses on a surgical intensive care unit (SICU) at a large academic medical center cut bloodstream infections to zero and saved more than $200,000 during a six-month period.

The University of Maryland Medical Center SICU sustained a rate of zero central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) for a 25-week period, eliminating 14 CLABSIs and saving 2-3 lives when compared to the same time period in the previous year, according to results of an intensive, six-month nursing initiative presented today at the 38th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

To address the problem of higher-than-average CLABSI rates on the 19-bed unit, the hospital appointed dedicated infection control nurses (ICNs) to oversee central line catheter insertions. The effort was conducted in partnership with the director of Medical Surgical Nursing, Christina Cafeo. An ICN was present during every central line insertion and trained to call out breaks in technique, breaches in hand hygiene and to perform daily assessment of central line dressings, looking for signs of infection. The nursing staff, led by the ICN, held daily educational meetings, came up with clever reminders for best practices, and created incentive programs to keep the team motivated and engaged. They also removed excess clutter from patient rooms and hallways so it would be easier to clean them.”

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