Nursing

Website spotlight: Infection control on a shoestring budget

Nurse Leader Insider, July 3, 2012

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Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, July 3, 2012

What do Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and '80s action hero MacGyver have in common?

Both used duct tape to save lives.

Duct tape and Ziploc bags were two main ingredients in a culture shift that's helped the Martinez, CA–based medical center reduce cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) to nearly zero.

"It was really simple stuff," Kathy Ferris, RN, BSN, manager of Contra Costa's infection prevention and control program, tells HealthLeaders Media. "Very low-tech, cheap, easy, obvious kind of stuff."

Low-tech and cheap, but powerful. Contra Costa reported zero cases of VAP in 23 of the 24 months from January 2010 to December 2011. It had zero cases of CLABSI in 22 of the 24 months during the same time frame.

On the CLABSI front, Ferris says she interviewed staff and discovered that nurses were spending a lot of time gathering equipment. So she went to the store and bought jumbo-sized Ziploc bags and created kits that included supplies like a full drape, surgical gown, cap, mask, and a compliance checklist.

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Editor’s note: To read more articles like this, visit the Reading Room, part of www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com.



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