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Journal Article > Study
Saint S, Greene MT, Krein SL, et al. N Engl J Med. 2016;374:2111-2119.
The landmark Keystone ICU study, which achieved remarkable sustained reductions in central line–associated bloodstream infections in intensive care unit (ICU) patients, stands as one of the most prominent successes of the patient safety field. Although the use of a checklist gathered the most publicity, the study's key insight was that preventing health care–associated infections (HAIs) required extensive attention to improving safety culture by addressing the socioadaptive factors within hospitals that contributed to HAIs. In this new AHRQ funded national study, the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program was implemented at 603 hospitals in 32 states, with the goal of preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in ICU and ward patients. The effort involved socioadaptive interventions (various approaches shown to improve safety culture) and technical interventions (targeted training to reduce usage of indwelling urinary catheters and providing regular data feedback to participating units). Catheter usage and infection rates significantly decreased in ward patients, although no change was found in ICU patients. This study thus represents one of the few safety interventions that has achieved a sustainable improvement in a clinical outcome. An earlier article described the implementation of the program, which involved collaboration between state and national agencies and academic centers. In a 2008 PSNet interview, the study's lead author discussed his work on preventing HAIs.
Journal Article > Study
Successful implementation of a unit-based quality nurse to reduce central line–associated bloodstream infections.
Thom KA, Li S, Custer M, et al. Am J Infect Control. 2014;42:139-143.
Central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Efforts to combat these complications include implementation of checklists and—perhaps more importantly—the enhancement of safety culture. Despite the widespread success of these interventions, some institutions continue to experience CLABSI rates that are above national benchmarks. This study describes the introduction of a unit-based quality nurse dedicated to preventing CLABSIs within a surgical intensive care unit (ICU) at an academic medical center. The quality nurse helped to educate staff about health care–associated infections and prevention strategies. The nurse also provided immediate, direct feedback to staff regarding their compliance with best practices. The average CLABSI rate decreased significantly, even after adjusting for multiple factors including reduction in CLABSI rates in other adult ICUs. A unit-based quality nurse may prove to be a powerful adjunct to the current available tools for reducing these costly infections.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2011. AHRQ Publication No. 11-0037-1-EF.