CRBSI surveillance saves money


Intravenous literature: Fraher, M.H., Collins, C.J., Bourke, J., Phelan, D. and Lynch, M. (2009) Cost-effectiveness of employing a total parenteral nutrition surveillance nurse for the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infections. Journal of Hospital Infection. 73(2), p.129-34.


The cost of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) is substantial in terms of morbidity, mortality and financial resources. Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is a recognised risk factor for CRBSI. In 1997, an intravenous nutrition nurse was promoted to TPN surveillance clinical nurse manager (CNM) and quarterly infection audit meetings were introduced to monitor trends in CRBSI. Data were prospectively collected over a 15-year period using specific TPN records in a 535-bed tertiary acute university hospital. A total of 20 439 CVC-days and 307 CRBSIs were recorded. Mean number of infections before, and after, the introduction of a dedicated TPN surveillance CNM were compared. Mean CRBSI per 1000 catheter-days+/-SD was 20.5+/-6.34 prior to 1997 and 14.64+/-7.81 after 1997, representing a mean reduction of 5.84 CRBSIs per 1000 catheter-days (95% CI: -4.92 to 16.60; P=0.05). Mean number of CRBSIs per year+/-SD was 28.3+/-4.93 prior to 1997 and 18.5+/-7.37 after 1997, representing a mean decrease of 9.8 infections per year (95% CI: 0.01 to 19.66; P<0.05). The savings made by preventing 9.8 infections per year were calculated from data on bed-days obtained from the hospital finance office. The cost in hospital days saved per annum was euro135,000. Introduction of a TPN surveillance CNM saved the hospital at least euro78,300 per annum and led to a significant decrease in CRBSIs in TPN patients.


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