St. Francis Reports Zero Central Line Infections in Five Years

Greenville, SC - With ZERO ICU-related central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) since 2007, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is among the few hospitals in our state that have not only set—but maintained—a new standard of excellence for patient safety. These results are shared in conjunction with a national project to improve patient safety nationwide which were released Sept.10 at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
These bloodstream infections are serious and can affect patients receiving treatment for other healthcare conditions. Patients that develop CLABSIs, who often are treated in hospital intensive care units (ICUs), take longer to recover and are at increased risk of death.

Bon Secours St. Francis reduced CLABSIs by implementing a patient safety project called the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP). CUSP, first developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Md., is a science-based approach using the latest evidence to improve the way clinical teams care for patients. It was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and grown nationwide through the leadership of the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

The national project that implemented CUSP involved hospital teams at more than 1,100 adult ICUs in 44 states over a four-year period. Preliminary findings indicate that most hospitals participating in this project reduced the rate of CLABSIs nationally from 1.903 infections per 1,000 central line days to 1.137 infections per 1,000 line days, an overall reduction of 40 percent. As a result, more than 2,000 CLABSIs were prevented, more than 500 lives were saved and more than $34 million in health care costs were avoided.

“Our patients are safer today because CUSP helped our doctors and nurses identify safety problems,” said Michelle Bushey, Director of Infection Prevention and Patient Safety at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “We congratulate all those who participated in this project and their role in improving patient safety and saving lives.”

“Reducing infections in our nation’s hospitals is a top priority for the AHA, and we’re proud of all the facilities that participated in this project,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA President and CEO. “I urge all eligible hospitals to use this tool as a foundation for building teams that provide the safest care possible for all patients.” 

HAIs are the most common complication of hospital care, affecting patients in all healthcare settings and striking one in 20 patients in hospitals at any point in time.

The first broad-scale application of CUSP was in Michigan, under the leadership of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, where it was used to significantly reduce CLABSIs in that state. Following that success, CUSP was expanded to 10 states and then nationally through an AHRQ contract to HRET.  

“I congratulate Bon Secours St. Francis on its success in using CUSP to reduce these dangerous infections,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD. “The partnership that drove this project and its outstanding results demonstrate that large-scale efforts to improve safety can benefit patients all across the country.”

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