On the CUSP: Stop BSI

Kansas Hospitals Reduce Bloodstream Infections by 38%

Through a joint effort to enhance the quality of health care patients receive, Kansas hospitals have significantly reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) after one year of participation in the Kansas On the CUSP: Stop BSI project. Working together with the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC), 50 unit teams are participating in this voluntary national effort to eliminate CLABSI using the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP). 

Evidence shows that infections can be dramatically reduced by following a “safety checklist" which calls for hospital staff to thoroughly wash hands, use maximum barrier precautions, avoid putting catheters in the groin, cleanse the insertion site with a chlorhexidine antiseptic solution, and remove the catheters as soon as they are no longer needed.

Infections are further reduced by implementing a teamwork approach used in the CUSP program. Each hospital unit forms a CUSP team consisting of a nurse, physician and executive champion. Each member of this team plays an important role in improving the patient safety culture on the unit. The team works together to identify potential harm and find ways to reduce harm. When harm does occur, the team goes through a process to learn from “defects.”

Kendra Tinsley, Executive Director of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative applauded the achievements of Kansas CUSP teams. “The efforts of these participating hospital units are groundbreaking and effective, as evidenced by a 38% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections in one year.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 250,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year, often in patients who have a central vascular catheter, or a tube inserted into a large vein in the chest, which may be used to provide medication or fluids or check blood oxygen levels and other vital signs. CLABSIs are costly in both deaths and dollars. Each CLASBI is estimated to have a 12.3% mortality rate, adds an average of $53,000 to the cost of care, and adds an average of eight days to in-patient length of stay.

was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The national partners of this initiative include the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association, the Michigan Keystone Center for Patient Safety, and Johns Hopkins Quality Safety and Research group. The goals of the Kansas On the CUSP: Stop BSI project were to eliminate, or at least reduce, CLABSI rates to no more than one infection per 1,000 catheter days and to improve safety culture on hospital units. —February 28, 2012