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CLABSI Taskforce: Fighting Infection and Achieving Results


The plan was masterminded by a multidisciplinary taskforce that brought together educators, infection preventionists, nursing informatics, quality coordinators, physician champions and representatives from nursing leadership and direct care nursing staff.

The taskforce’s overall objectives included the following:

  • Eliminate CLABSI and demonstrate zero defects
  • Increase bundle compliance to 100 percent
  • Improve system effectiveness and establish best practices
  • Enable consistent patient/family education provision
  • Increase staff competencies and decrease practice variation
  • Learn from defects

The first step for the taskforce was to review current CLABSI literature, third-party guidelines and prevention best practices. Using this foundation of knowledge, the taskforce then developed a comprehensive plan to ensure that the committee addressed all identified issues, met deadlines and also had a method in place to monitor progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the changes implemented.

As outlined in the “CLABSI Project Plan,” the taskforce implemented initial system and practice changes designed to achieve and maintain zero defects including:

  • Central line related education programs for nurses and physicians
  • Creation of the “CLABSI Champion Role” to recognize staff excelling in compliance with the new bundle
  • Establishment of best practices based on new CDC guidelines
  • Trialing of new products by nurses to understand their preferences
  • Collecting, tracking and benchmarking of data to monitor progress
  • Reporting of each CLABSI for follow-up analysis

The taskforce’s efforts paid off: since the “CLABSI Project Plan” was implemented, CLABSI rates have remained below the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) benchmarks. Furthermore, there were zero CLABSI in the last quarter of 2011, and the taskforce was able to meet its goal of zero defects by January 2012. Bundle compliance and patient education measures improved slightly, and femoral line utilization decreased by approximately 30 percent.

These outstanding accomplishments earned the Hallmark Health System an HAI WATCHDOG Award in 2012. The annual HAI WATCHDOG Awards program was created to recognize the efforts of dedicated healthcare professionals working together to prevent HAIs. For more information on the HAI WATCHDOG* Awards,click here