Website spotlight: Recruiting nurses in the fight against CLABSI

Nurse Leader Insider, September 19, 2011

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Even with all the effort IPs put into data collection, surveillance, and education on a daily basis to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), sometimes all it takes is the dedication of a few nurses to get the desired results.

A study presented at APIC's 2011 annual conference, held June 27-29 in Baltimore, showed that by appointing IC nurses to specifically oversee central line insertion and maintenance procedures, a hospital could eliminate CLABSIs in a matter of months.

Researchers from the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) showed that dedicated nurses on the facility's surgical ICU (SICU) sustained a rate of zero CLABSIs for a 25-week period, eliminating an estimated 14 infections and saving two to three lives. The reduction also saved the hospital more than $200,000 over the six-month period.

"This is truly an example of taking infection prevention directly to the patient's bedside," Russell N. Olmsted, MPH, CIC, APIC's 2011 president, said in a press release.

Although the infection prevention department helped educate nurses on evidence-based best practices and collected data on subsequent infections, the nursing department was the primary driver, says Michael Anne Preas, RN, BSN, CIC, an IP at UMMC and lead author of the study.

"The director of nursing for the med-surg division said, 'I don't care how you get this done. If you need to assign someone specifically to monitor these activities, then let's do that,' " Preas says. "So that was what they did, and they made reducing infections a big deal."

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