Successful implementation of a unit-based quality nurse to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections

Kerri A. Thom, Shanshan Li, Melissa Custer, Michael Anne Preas, Cindy D. Rew, Christina Cafeo, Surbhi Leekha, Brian S. Caffo, Thomas M. Scalea, Matthew E. Lissauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background Central line (CL)-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are an important cause of patient morbidity and mortality. Novel strategies to prevent CLABSI are needed. Methods We described a quasiexperimental study to examine the effect of the presence of a unit-based quality nurse (UQN) dedicated to perform patient safety and infection control activities with a focus on CLABSI prevention in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU). Results From July 2008 to March 2012, there were 3,257 SICU admissions; CL utilization ratio was 0.74 (18,193 CL-days/24,576 patient-days). The UQN program began in July 2010; the nurse was present for 30% (193/518) of the days of the intervention period of July 2010 to March 2012. The average CLABSI rate was 5.0 per 1,000 CL-days before the intervention and 1.5 after the intervention and decreased by 5.1% (P =.005) for each additional 1% of days of the month that the UQN was present, even after adjusting for CLABSI rates in other adult intensive care units, time, severity of illness, and Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program participation (5.1%, P =.004). Approximately 11.4 CLABSIs were prevented. Conclusion The presence of a UQN dedicated to perform infection control activities may be an effective strategy for CLABSI reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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