A hospital-wide quality-improvement collaborative to reduce catheter-associated bloodstream infections

Derek S. Wheeler*, Mary Jo Giaccone, Nancy Hutchinson, Mary Haygood, Pattie Bondurant, Kathy Demmel, Uma R. Kotagal, Beverly Connelly, Melinda S. Corcoran, Kristin Line, Kate Rich, Pamela J. Schoettker, Richard J. Brilli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CA BSIs) are associated with increased hospital length of stay, total hospital costs, and mortality. Quality-improvement collaboratives (QICs) are frequently used to improve health care quality. Our PICU was previously involved in a successful national QIC to reduce the incidence of CA BSI in critically ill children. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that the formation of a hospital-wide QIC would reduce the incidence of CA BSI throughout our institution. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the incidence of CA BSI from March 2006 to March 2010. The collaborative approach included hospital-wide implementation of central-line insertion and maintenance bundles that emphasized full sterile barrier precautions and chlorhexidine skin preparation during line insertion, daily discussion of catheter necessity, and meticulous site and tubing care. The hospital units involved were our 3 critical care units, the oncology unit, the bone marrow transplant unit, and wards. Each individual unit was responsible for collecting unit-specific data and performing event-cause analysis within 48 hours of identifying a CA BSI. These results were shared with the other hospital units during monthly meetings. Compliance with the insertion and maintenance bundles was monitored and reported to each unit monthly. RESULTS: The hospital-wide CA-BSI rate decreased from a baseline of 3.0 to <1.0 CA BSI per 1000 line-days after implementation of the QIC. CONCLUSIONS: Our hospital-wide QIC resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of CA BSI at our children's hospital. A collaborative model based on improvement science methodology is both feasible and effective in reducing the incidence of CA BSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e995-e1007
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Central line
  • Hospital-acquired infection
  • Microsystem
  • Nosocomial
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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