Stop BSI Project Making 'Encouraging' Progress

More than 1,055 hospitals and 1,775 hospital teams now participate in the HHS project, and their patient infection rates improved by 33 percent after a year, the latest report shows.

The second report assessing progress by participants in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-supported Stop BSI Project –- a campaign to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in U.S. hospitals –- showed good improvement.

The project's goal is to cut CLABSI rates to less than 1 per 1,000 central line days across all participating U.S. hospitals, which will substantially reduce deaths and unnecessary costs associated with these infections.

The report says 46 hospital associations and one umbrella group have committed to leading the project in their states and have recruited more than 1,055 hospitals and 1,775 hospital teams to participate, with nine states and Puerto Rico starting their participation this year.

Compared to a baseline rate of 1.87 infections per 1,000 central line days in these units, after 10-12 months of participation in the project, rates dropped to 1.25 infections per 1,000 central line days -- a 33 percent improvement. In addition, units with zero quarterly CLABSIs increased from 27.3 percent at baseline to 69.5 percent.

Still, the report says there was little change in team members' answers to questions about the safety culture on their units.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded $18 million to fund this national effort, which began in October 2008 and is headed by a partnership of the Health Research & Educational Trust (a non-profit research and educational affiliate of the American Hospital Association), the Johns Hopkins University Quality and Safety Research Group, and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality.

The authors say the progress to date indicates even hospitals that have already achieved low infection rates can improve them. A relatively small percentage of units with rates above 5 per 1,000 central line days are the primary reason the average rate remains above 1.0, so in the past six months, the national project team has been identifying those facilities, encouraging state hospital associations to discuss their rates with them, and developing resources to support the units.

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