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The Catalyst

MUSC praised for infection prevention excellence

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

MUSC won national recognition in its continued quest to prevent health care-associated infections by receiving an outstanding achievement and leadership award.

Dr. Cassandra Salgado, medical director for MUSC Infection Prevention & Control, left, joins Dr. Don Wright, deputy director for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Linda Formby, manager for Infection Prevention & Control.
Dr. Cassandra Salgado, medical director for MUSC Infection Prevention & Control, left, joins Dr. Don Wright, deputy director for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Linda Formby, manager for Infection Prevention & Control.

Linda Formby, Infection Prevention & Control manager, and Cassandra Salgado, M.D., hospital epidemiologist and medical director for Infection Prevention and Control, accepted the award for eliminating central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). The award was given by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Critical Care Societies Collaborative in conjunction with the National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.

Each year infections that are acquired while patients receive treatment in a health care setting cost health care systems billions of dollars and can have long-term effects on the health of patients. Since 2012, MUSC joined a national effort to prevent HAIs by establishing quality-based practices and goals.

In this year’s group of hospitals and health care organizations recognized for achieving excellence in reducing HAIs, MUSC was the only institution tapped for reducing CLABSI in four critical care areas – neurosurgical ICU, cardiothoracic ICU, pediatric ICU and pediatric cardiothoracic ICU.

Salgado and Formby were especially proud of this accomplishment.

“This recognition reflects continued dedication and collaboration between all care providers in the ICU, infection preventionists, and support from hospital administration and leadership,” said Salgado.

According to Salgado, MUSC’s success recognize collaborative efforts that included the adoption of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement line insertion bundle, service line leadership goals, formation of a multidisciplinary “Zero BSI [bloodstream infection]” team, development and implementation of a line care maintenance bundle, and participation in state and national CLABSI prevention projects.

These efforts resulted in significant improvements in the hospital’s culture of safety and HAI awareness. MUSC reduced the CLABSI rate by 62 percent over 36 months, sustained a 66 percent relative decrease in overall ICU CLABSI rate and a 92 percent relative decrease in the overall pediatric ICU CLABSI rate. Each critical care area sustained CLABSI reductions below the National Healthcare Safety Network mean benchmark in seven of eight ICU areas. However, four of these ICU areas achieved greater than 50 percent reduction in CLABSI throughout a 36-month period. These include neurosurgical ICU (71 percent relative-reduction), cardiothoracic ICU (73 percent), pediatric ICU (95 percent) and pediatric cardiothoracic ICU (91 percent).

Vance Donahoo, R.N., cardiothoracic ICU nurse manager, has led his team to 36 months with zero CLABSI. He attributes his unit’s success to staff education, good collaboration and a focus on best practices for cardiovascular line care and insertions. CTICU staff work closely with anesthesia teams by infusing sterile techniques of the operating room in all line placements. To avoid contamination, his team does not draw blood from CV lines, but only from peripheral intravenous lines.

“I feel our continued use of education and demonstrations of best practices will sustain our success,” said Donahoo.
Likewise, the pediatric cardiothoracic ICU has gone 19 months without a CLABSI.

Nurse manager Kim Montgomery, R.N., praised her unit’s team approach in this accomplishment. Every person from physicians and nurses to the unit housekeeper plays an important role to patient outcomes, accountability and adopting a culture of zero tolerance to ensure success, according to Montgomery.  Their efforts were led by an infection prevention team that developed initiatives, improvements to handwashing and other actions.

Salgado said that by preventing 369 cases within the past 36 months, MUSC has saved 66 patient lives and $13.3 million in health care costs. 

“I want to thank all of those who work in the ICU patient care areas as well as the infection preventionists and hospital leadership responsible for this award. The impact for our patients is profound, and, for that, I am most proud of MUSC,” Salgado said.

MUSC joined St. Francis Health (Ind.), University of Michigan Health System, HealthEast St. John’s Hospital (Minn.), Beth Israel Medical Center (N.Y.), Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center (N.C.), Novant Health (N.C.), East Carolina Heart Institute at Vidant (N.C.) and Vidant Medical Center (N.C.) as the 2013 recipients of this annual award presented at the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition.

June 13, 2013



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