CLABSI Reductions Saved $1.8B in Healthcare Costs, Says CDC

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , March 1, 2011

The CDC suggests five efforts to continue the reduction in CLABSI:


1. Providers should be on the lookout to be aware of and make sure healthcare providers follow infection control guidelines when a central line is inserted and used.
2. Hospital and other staff in healthcare settings to "speak up when guidelines aren't followed."
3. Track infection rates and germ types with the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network to learn where and why infections are happening, target actions to stop them and track progress.
4. Recognize staff members or units that work hard to prevent these infections or that solve infection control issues.
5. Join state-based prevention programs such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's expansion of "On the CUSP: Stop BSIs."

A major effort is in preventing infections in people who receive kidney dialysis, which about 350,000 people in the U.S. undergo at any given time. About eight in 10 receive treatment through a central line.  Infections are one of the major reasons for the high death and hospitalization rates for patients undergoing hemodialysis, with 37,000 infections in this population alone in 2008. Compounding the problem is that these infections are more likely to be resistant to the most effective and common types of antibiotics.

President and CEO of the American Hospital Association Rich Umbdenstock said patients and hospitals "welcome news that confirms that hospitals are making tremendous progress in reducing certain infections."

He adds, however, that "We will not rest until healthcare associated infections are totally eliminated, and we applaud the work of hospitals, doctors, nurses and other staff in making hospitals safer than ever before."

But he blasted proposed recently passed federal regulations that would "penalize 25% of all hospitals each year—those that report the highest proportion of hospital-associated condition, no mater how small that number may be—regardless of improvement."

Rather, he said, "we've learned that success comes from collaboration and promotion of best practices rather than through counterproductive policies."

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