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New Toolkit Aims to Decrease Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Project provides guidance on preventing infections in domestic, global arenas

November 20, 2013
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager

View the multi-media news release

(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – November 20, 2013) A new toolkit,“Preventing Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections – Useful Tools, An International Perspective,” developed by The Joint Commission, Joint Commission Resources (JCR) and Joint Commission International (JCI), is now available to help healthcare organizations implement practices to reduce these preventable infections that threaten lives and increase healthcare costs.

The toolkit, along with a 2012 monograph “Preventing Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections – A Global Challenge, A Global Perspective,” provides the most current information and guidance on practices and technology, as well as the most appropriate tools, resources and education, to assist healthcare organizations with their efforts to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Recent studies show that more than 23,000 patients in the U.S. alone develop CLABSIs annually, and that CLABSIs are one of the most deadly types of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the annual cost of CLABSI is more than $1 billion, and the estimated cost per patient is more than $16,000. The risk associated with CLABSI is even greater in developing countries, where the rates of HAIs related to devices are, in most cases, three to five times greater.

The toolkit and monograph are designed for healthcare personnel who insert and care for central venous catheters and who are responsible for the surveillance, prevention and control of infections in all healthcare settings. Separated into chapters which correspond directly to those included in the monograph, the topics and tools address:

  • Types of central venous catheters and risk factors for and pathogenesis of CLABSIs

  • Background on CLABSIs, including clinical practice guidelines, position papers, initiatives on CLABSI prevention and barriers to best practices

  • CLABSI prevention strategies, techniques and technologies

  • CLABSI patient safety initiatives and factors contributing to improvement

  • CLABSI surveillance, benchmarking and pubic reporting

  • Economic aspects of CLABSIs and their prevention

 “Although there are a series of evidence-based interventions that can prevent most CLABSIs, consistently implementing these practices remains a significant challenge,” says Daniel J. Castillo, M.D., M.B.A., medical director, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission.  “The monograph and accompanying tools are designed to help healthcare providers across the globe to take action to save lives and improve health care quality.”

The toolkit was developed by The Joint Commission, JCR and JCI. In addition, several other domestic and international infection prevention leaders from countries including Argentina, Australia, Egypt, Switzerland, Thailand and Saudi Arabia provided expertise for the toolkit. The project was supported by a research grant from Baxter Healthcare Corporation and focuses on the identification and broad dissemination of preferred practices and technological solutions to prevent CLABSI. 

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