IHA case studies

CLABSI Prevention; On the CUSP to Getting to Zero


Central line-associated blood stream infections cause serious patient harm, leading to thousands of deaths each year. Patient safety is the medical center's highest priority in delivering excellent patient family centered care. This project focused on the critical-care units delivery of central-line care and maintenance. Physician leadership by the critical care medical director with multidisciplinary rounds incorporated best practices; evaluating line necessity, type and days. During these rounds, effective communication was a key component between physician, patient, family, and frontline staff. The white board in each patient's room posted line days in efforts to minimize unnecessary utilization. Nurses completed online training which reviewed policies, protocols and the central-line checklist. Feedback from the training module was incorporated into nursing-skills day. The project goal was achieved and the hospital CLABSI rate decreased by 75 percent. The education goal was achieved at 90 percent compliance with the online training module. Critical to the success of this project was the engagement of leadership, frontline staff, patients and family with effective communication and education.

This case study is part of the Illinois Hospital Association's annual quality awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals in continually improving and transforming health care in the state.  These hospitals are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim--improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction); improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

Award recipients achieve measurable and meaningful progress in providing care that is:

  • Safe
  • Timely
  • Effective
  • Efficient
  • Equitable
  • Patient-centered

(The Institute of Medicine's six aims for improvement.)

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