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To assess the impact of a novel, silver-coated needleless connectors (NCs) on central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates compared with a mechanically identical NCs without a silver coating.
Prospective longitudinal observation study
Two 500-bed university hospitals
All hospitalized adults from November 2009 to June 2011 with non-hemodialysis central lines
Hospital A started with silver-coated NCs and switched to standard NCs in September 2010; hospital B started with standard NCs and switched to silver-coated NCs. The primary outcome was the difference revealed by Poisson multivariate regression in CLABSI rate using standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance definitions. The secondary outcome was a comparison of organism-specific CLABSI rates by NC type.
Among 15,845 hospital admissions, 140,186 central-line days and 221 CLABSIs were recorded during the study period. In a multivariate model, the CLABSI rate per 1,000 central-line days was lower with silver-coated NCs than with standard NCs (1.21 vs 1.79; incidence rate ratio=0.68 [95% CI: 0.52–0.89], P=.005). A lower CLABSI rate per 1,000 central-line days for the silver-coated NCs versus the standard NCs was observed with S. aureus (0.11 vs 0.30, P=.02), enterococci (0.10 vs 0.27, P=.03), and Gram-negative organisms (0.28 vs 0.63, P=.003) but not with coagulase-negative staphylococci (0.31 vs 0.36) or Candida spp. (0.42 vs 0.40).
The use of silver-coated NCs decreased the CLABSI rate by 32%. CLABSI reduction efforts should include efforts to minimize contamination of NCs.
Measurement of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates outside of intensive care units is challenged by the difficulty in reliably determining central venous catheter (CVC) use. The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) allows for use of electronic data for determination of CVC-days, but validation of electronic data has not been studied systematically.
To design and validate a process to reliably measure CVC-days outside of the intensive care units that leverages electronic documentation.
Thirty-four inpatient wards at 2 academic hospitals using a common electronic platform for nursing documentation were studied. Electronic queries were created to capture patient and CVC information, and tools and processes for tracking and reporting errors in documentation were developed. Strategies to validate electronic data included comparisons with manual CVC-day determinations and automated data validation using customized tools. Interventions included redesign of documentation interface, real-time audit with feedback of errors, and education. The primary outcome was patient-level total error rate in electronic CVC-day measurement compared with manually counted CVC-days.
At baseline, there were a mean (± standard deviation) of 0.32 ± 0.25 electronic CVC-day errors (omission and commission errors summed and counted equally) per manually counted CVC-day. After several process improvement cycles over 7 months, the error rate decreased to <0.05 errors per CVC-day and remained at or below this level for 2 years.
Baseline electronic CVC-day counts had a high error rate. Stepwise interventions reduced errors to consistently low levels. Validation of electronic calculation of CVC-days is essential to ensure accuracy, particularly if these data will be used for interinstitutional comparison.
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