Preventing Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections: A Qualitative Study of Management Practices

Ann Scheck McAlearney, Jennifer L. Hefner, Julie Robbins, Michael I. Harrison, Andrew Garman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE To identify factors that may explain hospital-level differences in outcomes of programs to prevent central line-Associated bloodstream infections. DESIGN Extensive qualitative case study comparing higher-and lower-performing hospitals on the basis of reduction in the rate of central line-Associated bloodstream infections. In-depth interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed to determine whether emergent themes differentiated higher-from lower-performing hospitals. SETTING Eight US hospitals that had participated in the federally funded On the CUSP-Stop BSI initiative. PARTICIPANTS One hundred ninety-four interviewees including administrative leaders, clinical leaders, professional staff, and frontline physicians and nurses. RESULTS A main theme that differentiated higher-from lower-performing hospitals was a distinctive framing of the goal of getting to zero infections. Although all sites reported this goal, at the higher-performing sites the goal was explicitly stated, widely embraced, and aggressively pursued; in contrast, at the lower-performing hospitals the goal was more of an aspiration and not embraced as part of the strategy to prevent infections. Five additional management practices were nearly exclusively present in the higher-performing hospitals: (1) top-level commitment, (2) physician-nurse alignment, (3) systematic education, (4) meaningful use of data, and (5) rewards and recognition. We present these strategies for prevention of healthcare-Associated infection as a management bundle with corresponding suggestions for implementation. CONCLUSIONS Some of the variance associated with CLABSI prevention program outcomes may relate to specific management practices. Adding a management practice bundle may provide critical guidance to physicians, clinical managers, and hospital leaders as they work to prevent healthcare-Associated infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes

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© 2015 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reservedÂ.


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