Visiting professor engages Christiana Care leaders to fight hospital-acquired infections

Visiting professor engages Christiana Care leaders to fight hospital-acquired infections

Dr. Pronovost talks to group of medical professionals
Patient-safety advocate Peter Pronovost, M.D., visited Christiana Care to share his expertise on preventing hospital-acquired infections.

Nationally noted patient safety advocate Peter Pronovost, M.D., and his team visited Christiana Care to engage in “CLABSI Conversations,” a half-day program bringing senior leadership, Intensive Care Unit leaders and Infection Prevention staff together to discuss ongoing efforts to prevent central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI).

In addition to meeting with groups of Christiana Care physicians and staff, Dr. Pronovost and his team toured the adult ICUs and the Emergency Department to interview front-line staff about infection-prevention efforts.

Dr. Pronovost’s visit resulted from Christiana Care’s participation in the national On the CUSP: Stop Hospital-acquired Infections program. CUSP, or Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, is an initiative that focuses on evidence-based practices, monitoring and transparency of infection rates. It aims to foster a culture of patient safety in which all staff will be comfortable speaking up about issues that may harm patients. Christiana Care has seven CUSP teams working together to reduce infections and other patient safety concerns. The program, launched in October 2010, has already made tremendous progress, including a 50 percent reduction in CLABSI rates in the Wilmington ICU. WICU patients have not experienced a single CLABSI since September 2010.

Dr. Pronovost, winner of the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, is best known for his five-point checklist to prevent central-line-associated bloodstream infections (a modified version of which Christiana Care adopted in October):

  • Wash hands.
  • Wear sterile gloves, hat, mask, and gown and cover the patient with sterile drapes.
  • Avoid placing catheter in the groin.
  • Clean skin with chlorhexidine.
  • Remove catheters when no longer needed.

Dr. Pronovost is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Nursing.