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Bringing Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infection Prevention Home: CLABSI Definitions and Prevention Policies in Home Health Care Agencies

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Background: A study was conducted to investigate home health care agency central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) definitions and prevention policies and compare them to the Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG.07.04.01), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CLABSI prevention recommendations, and a best-practice central line care bundle for inpatients.

Methods: A telephone-based survey was conducted in 2011 of a convenience sample of home health care agencies associated with children's hematology/oncology centers.

Results: Of the 97 eligible home health care agencies, 57 (59%) completed the survey. No agency reported using all five aspects of the National Healthcare and Safety Network/Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology CLABSI definition and adjudication process, and of the 50 agencies that reported tracking CLABSI rates, 20 (40%) reported using none. Only 10 agencies (18%) had policies consistent with all elements of the inpatient-focused NPSG.07.04.01, 10 agencies (18%) were consistent with all elements of the home care targeted CDC CLABSI prevention recommendations, and no agencies were consistent with all elements of the central line care bundle. Only 14 agencies (25%) knew their overall CLABSI rate: mean 0.40 CLABSIs per 1,000 central line days (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 to 0.61). Six agencies (11%) knew their agency's pediatric CLABSI rate: mean 0.54 CLABSIs per 1,000 central line days (95% CI, 0.06 to 1.01).

Conclusions: The policies of a national sample of home health care agencies varied significantly from national inpatient and home health care agency targeted standards for CLABSI definitions and prevention. Future research should assess strategies for standardizing home health care practices consistent with evidence-based recommendations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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