Hospital-acquired conditions cause patient discomfort, prolong illness, and increase the cost of healthcare dramatically. Crouse Hospital in Syracuse set out to reduce these complications by initiating a project to reduce the number of central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) to zero.
Staff from nursing, infection control, and quality improvement identified improvements using evidence-based guidelines and Lean Six Sigma strategies. Key elements included renewed education, encouraging earlier removal of central venous catheters as appropriate, improving coordinated central line care, and incorporating staff ideas.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were no CLABSIs reported on two of the three units piloting the program. The program is now being expanded to other areas of the hospital, which has seen its overall number of CLABSIs reduced from 21 in 2010, to just three hospital wide during the first quarter of 2013.