CDC updates guidelines on cutting catheter infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee have updated guidelines outlining how to stop bloodstream infections among inpatients whose treatment includes intravenous catheters.

The "Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections" were last revised in 2002 and reflect work from the Michigan Keystone Program, which used a checklist to dramatically cut the infection rate.

The new edition was developed through a working group led by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, with assistance from more than a dozen associations that have focused on infection control including the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Under a federally funded collaborative involving intensive care units in Michigan hospitals, the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) was reduced by two-thirds --saving more than 1,500 lives and $200 million in the first 18 months. Similar initiatives in other states and countries have also demonstrated success as well.

"The timing for this updated guideline is perfect because starting this year, hospitals that accept Medicare patients are required to report their central line-associated bloodstream infections to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or risk losing 2 percent of their Medicare payments," said Russell Olmsted, MPH, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), in a statement.

The project currently is being implemented nationwide as the On the CUSP: Stop BSI campaign, led by the American Hospital Association's Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate

For more information:

- view the new CDC infection control guidelines  
- learn more about the On the Cusp program
- see the Becker's Hospital review article

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