Eileen Phillips, an RN at the University of Missouri Health System, led a team of nurses in reviewing literature on infections. The team then developed a list of appropriate, evidence-based indications for catheter use, and included a step in their EHRs that required nurses to document the reasons for use of a catheter. This led to a decrease in use of catheters and contributed to the subsequent 25 percent drop in infections.
The nursing team also began an educational and communications campaign called “CAUTIon: Zero Infections Ahead” that used web-based modules, posters, rewards systems, weekly quizzes, and staff meetings to highlight best practices for catheter use.
"This could not have occurred without first reducing our utilization, which is why the EHR task has helped so much," Phillips said in a blog post Q&A on Cerner’s website. "In 2013, our catheter utilization was 33 percent, and in 2014, utilization decreased to 25 percent, which is a 24 percent overall decrease. I am really happy with the progress we have made so far."
Reducing central line infections was the focus of an INQRI-funded study led by David Thompson and Jill Marsteller. Their study, involving 45 intensive care units in 35 hospitals in 12 states, tested a nurse-led intervention that used a bundle of evidence-based practices to reduce infections. The intervention was successful in significantly reducing infections and also highlighted the importance of promoting a culture of safety and communication. It also established that nurses should play a central role in quality improvement interventions.