, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 343-349
Date: 10 May 2011

Prevention of Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infections: A Journey Toward Eliminating Preventable Harm

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Central line–associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) are among the most common, lethal, and costly health care–associated infections. Recent large collaborative quality improvement efforts have achieved unprecedented and sustained reductions in CLABSI rates and demonstrate that these infections are largely preventable, even for exceedingly ill patients. The broad acceptance that zero CLABSI rates are an achievable goal has motivated and stimulated diverse groups of stakeholders, including public and private groups to develop policy tools and to mobilize their local constituents toward achieving this goal. Nevertheless, attributing reductions in CLABSI rates achieved by multifaceted quality improvement efforts solely to the use of checklists to ensure adherence with appropriate infection control practices is an easily made but crucial mistake. National CLABSI prevention is a shared responsibility and creating novel partnerships between government agencies, health care industry, and consumers is critical to making and sustaining progress in achieving the goals toward eliminating CLABSI.