NICUs in Florida and Eight Other States Cut Bloodstream Infections by More than Half


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced that their nine-state patient safety program to reduce central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in newborns in hospital NICUs has effected an overall relative reduction of infections by 58% in less than one year. According to the report, this translates into an overall prevention of an estimated 131 infections and up to 41 deaths and the avoidance of more than $2 million in health care costs. To accomplish this dramatic change, 100 NICUs in the nine states – caring for 8,400 newborns – used catheter insertion and maintenance practices based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NICU teams used the AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) framework to bring together improvements in safety culture, better communication and best practices to achieve these results and to lay the foundation for sustaining these gains.

During this 11 month program, the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative represented the state of Florida with 16 Level III NICUs participating in the project. These NICUs accounted for nearly a quarter of the data and had a substantial impact on the national progress of the program. Initial reports indicate that Florida outperformed the national average in many data measurements. To learn more, please visit the FPQC’s section on our current project, neonatal catheter associated bloodstream infections (NCABSI).

Written By: Heidi K. Curran, MBA