Children's Hospital's CLABSI Reduction Efforts Succeed Continuously for 332 Days


Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) can cause harm to patients or even lead to fatalities, while also resulting in additional expenses for hospitals.

A children's hospital in Virginia reduced central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) infections to 0 for 332 days. How did they do it?

Becky Lapian, MPH, CIC, infection preventionist Inova Health System; and Allison Barberio, MHSA, CPHQ, quality director, Pediatric Service Line, Inova Health System, Falls Church, Virginia, described how they worked together with other departments throughout the hospital to hit that milestone.

Lapian and Barberio spoke with Infection Control Today® (ICT®) about their poster presentation at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held in Orlando, Florida, June 26 to 28, 2023. Their poster, “One Team Approach: Celebration of 300 Days Without a CLABSI as a Children’s Hospital,” examines how their team collaborated across the hospital to keep CLABSI infections from occurring.

Lapian explained, “Our poster is celebrating our CLABSI reduction efforts within our children's hospital. And just for reference…CLABSIs are detrimental to not just the patient but can be costly to a hospital and a multidisciplinary group, including infection prevention, nursing quality, and medical staff.”

To examine how to prevent CLABSIs throughout the hospital’s departments, Lapian said the various departments “met through harm prevention meanings and infection prevention workgroups to not just talk about benchmarks, like how we're doing compared to other children's hospitals, or other units within our hospital, but also what are our opportunities in terms of how do we continue to reduce harm? And then how do we share our best practices not just within our siloed unit, but also as a hospital? We were able to accomplish 332 days without a CLABSI. And that includes over 10,654 central line days. And what that means is more than 10,000 days, where patients had a central line in place, and 81% decrease in our CLABSI standardized infection ratio, and then a slight increase in our utilization. With this partnership and collaboration, we were happy to help facilitate, [however,] we did not necessarily do the work. We just helped guide the team.”

Barberio agreed saying, “This is an ongoing and continuous effort. It's not something where we meet once a month and discuss it for 60 minutes and move on with our lives. This is something that we're talking about and analyzing every single day in any conversation that it's relevant. So that's how we moved beyond what we consider to be the evidence-based standard because we felt we had high reliability and truly looked at what specific factors were important and were impacting our pediatric and neonatal populations.”

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