Infection Control Triumphs
Date: April 15, 2013
At a time when the risks for hospital-acquired infections are at an all-time high, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center can take pride in marking three prevention milestones. In January, the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) marked two years without any central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). A month later, the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)—responsible for caring for the tiniest, most vulnerable, patients—celebrated one year of thwarting CLABSI. Preventing CLABSI is particularly challenging in the NICU, where multiple incubators are housed in a small space, and considering that babies have underdeveloped immune systems. And in March, the medical intensive care unit (MICU) celebrated one year CLABSI-free. The teams in all three intensive care units take myriad steps to prevent CLABSI. Nurses, for example, participate in some physician rounds and offer their perspective on the lines’ cleaning, maintenance and site of insertion. In addition, checklists are used to confirm that specific steps are taken to prevent infections. Underlying these efforts, says John Preto, the CICU’s director of nursing, was a progressive culture change, “giving nurses the confidence to approach or remind doctors of protocol and precautions.” All three units received Johns Hopkins Bayview Group Patient Safety Star Awards from the hospital’s Quality and Patient Safety Council for their vigilance.