South African, U.S. Nurses Collaborate to Reduce ICU Infections


Nurses and infection preventionists from the U.S. and South Africa will investigate strategies for reducing catheter-associated bloodstream infections in ICUs.

On July 26, 2010, three nurses from the Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, will arrive at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital at Stanford University to train, exchange and observe medical and clinical practices and to kick off a joint quality improvement project. The project, which will continue over the coming months, will investigate strategies for reducing catheter-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units (ICUs).

The visit and quality improvement project evolves out of an ongoing "twinning" partnership, called Best Outcomes through Nursing Children with Excellence (BOuNCE), between Red Cross War Memorial Childrens Hospital and Lucile Packard. Childrens HeartLink has sponsored and facilitated the partnership since 2006. The objectives for BOuNCE are to foster the professional development of the critical care nurses at both hospitals, to develop formalized strategies for nurse retention and to mutually improve clinical practices and patient care.

The Red Cross pediatric ICU nurses, Susan Carolus and Bernadette Jennifer Francis, and infection control specialist, Charmain Joy Rinquist, will work with Lucile Packard nurses, Joanne Fioravanti, Eileen Garrison, Michele Santilhano, Tracy Pablo, Kathleen Carney, Ellie Taft, Sarah Ferrari, Heather Freeman and Sandy Staveski.

Currently, Ferrari, Garrison and Staveski are in the process of redesigning how certain policies are developed and implemented at Lucile Packard. The new policy process utilizes mindmapping techniques, is more nurse-friendly and should have positive effects on standardizing nursing practice. This project is based on a design originally developed by Red Cross nurses and is an example of how the exchange of ideas, knowledge and people between two partnering institutions directly benefits both partners.

"The BOuNCE project is a unique program for Childrens HeartLink. We are thrilled to be sponsoring such a beneficial exchange of knowledge and expertise between two great hospitals," says Elizabeth Perlich Sweeney, president of Children's HeartLink. "Through this cross-cultural collaboration weve seen both hospitals improve their ability to provide world-class pediatric cardiac care."

Staveski, along with Minette Coetzee, associate professor of child nurse practice development at Red Cross War Memorial, and Andreas Tsakistos, international programs coordinator at Childrens HeartLink, will be presenting the BOuNCE project at the National Association of Childrens Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) annual leadership conference Oct. 17-20, 2010 in Minneapolis.

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