The Commonwealth Fund Connection

The Commonwealth Fund Connection is a roundup of recent Fund publications, charts, multimedia, and other timely content. 

  • December 5, 2011 Issue

Eliminating Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infections: Lessons from Top Hospitals

One of the most common types of infections acquired in health care settings is the central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), which can develop when a central venous catheter is not inserted or maintained properly. About 43,000 CLABSIs occurred in hospitals in 2009—and nearly one of five infected patients died as a result. A new case study series examines the strategies and procedures adopted by hospitals that reported no CLABSIs in their intensive care units in 2009. Among the lessons identified were: the importance of following evidence-based protocols to prevent infection; the need for dedicated teams to oversee all central line insertions; the value of participation in statewide, national, or regional CLABSI collaboratives or initiatives; and the necessity for close monitoring of infection rates, giving feedback to staff, and applying internal and external goals.

Read the case studies from the four hospitals—Bronson Methodist Hospital of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Englewood Hospital and Medical Center of Englewood, N.J.; Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital of Whittier, Calif.; and Southern Ohio Medical Center of Portsmouth, Ohio. You can also view comparative performance data for these and other hospitals on


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