The Premier healthcare alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today a joint research initiative to test new technologies for predicting incidents of central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), as well as to automate the reporting of these adverse events to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
This initiative is based on the success of a pilot project of the CDC Prevention Epicenter Program, which identifies and evaluates effective healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention strategies by funding extramural research through a network of academic centers.
As part of an overall prevention and control strategy, the CDC recommends ongoing surveillance for CLABSIs. However, traditional surveillance methods are often dependent on the time-consuming manual collection of clinical data from the medical record, which forces infection control resources to be spent on monitoring infection rates, rather than implementing new strategies that prevent them from occurring in the first place.
This initiative will analyze the specific traits of positive blood cultures across a subset of Premier’s more than 2,300 member hospitals to develop an automated electronic surveillance tool that could be used to accurately predict the presence of CLABSIs. Leaders in this field from the Chicago Prevention Epicenter at Stroger (Cook County) Hospital, in Chicago, will evaluate the tool in a real-world setting to determine effectiveness. If successful, the tool could be used as part of a decision-support process that would automatically flag probable CLASBI events for infection preventionist confirmation and corrective actions to prevent additional infections. As important, the tool will also be used to automate a more standardized method of HAI detection and reporting to NHSN using data contained within existing health information systems.
“As the largest national alliance of hospitals working on the front lines to improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare, Premier is pleased to partner with the CDC to build, test and scale an innovative approach to infection detection and prevention,” said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. “Infection preventionists have a challenging job that is critical to patient safety. By automating the surveillance process to help them better predict and act upon adverse events as quickly as possible, we hope to deliver the tools they need to become even better advocates for infection prevention strategies that improve patient outcomes.”
“This is an example of a more reliable and faster surveillance of the future,” said Dr. Denise Cardo, director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “By decreasing the time involved in identifying HAIs, more energy can be placed on prevention activities.”
Furthermore, this project will greatly facilitate surveillance activities at facilities with electronic health records, allowing local data for action which will increase the likelihood of a facility reaching targets set in the HHS action plan.
Central-line associated bloodstream infections are dangerous adverse events. According to the CDC, CLABSIs affect approximately 250,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Additional costs can range from $5,734 to $22,939 per patient.
Research and testing of the CLASBI electronic surveillance tool is expected to take approximately two years. Upon completion, the tool will be integrated into Premier’s SafetySurveillor®, a Web-based solution for automated infection control, surveillance and medication management. The tool also will be publicly available for integration into other infection prevention offerings.