Cook-Sponsored Summit Produces Recommendations on Line Sepsis

Line sepsis, a hospital-acquired infection derived from central venous catheters, affects as many as 250,000 U.S. patients a year. With CMS no longer reimbursing for procedures related to treating such infections, hospitals must bring that number way down.To that end, Cook Medical, which makes central venous catheters impregnated with an antibiotic coating to prevent line sepsis, funded a roundtable summit of leaders from hospital systems, professional societies, the government, and other stakeholders to tackle the issue.

October 3, 2008

2 Min Read
Cook-Sponsored Summit Produces Recommendations on Line Sepsis

It was put on by Thomas Jefferson University with an unrestricted educational grant from Cook. Participants met yesterday and held a press conference this morning to announce their findings. Their five recommendations are:* Standardizing the method of catheter insertion, according to published best practices.* Expanding patient education about this issue, including encouraging them to ask whether the line is needed, whether the caregiver is following an insertion protocol, and whether the caregiver washed his or her hands.* Developing cross-disciplinary teams at each hospital to evaluate the hospital's practices and any incidents that may have happened, and to continually educate staff on best practices.* Changing the culture at every level of the hospital to encourage safety first. That includes empowering nurses to tell a doctor that his method of line insertion is not in accordance with best practices.* Offering greater incentives to be more transparent about this issue, including posting infection rates on hospital Web sites.The summit attendees did not recommend any specific technological solutions. It should be up to each hospital to figure out which technologies best meet its needs for complying with the recommendations, said David Nash, MD, dean of the Jefferson School of Health Policy and Population Health (Philadelphia), who was the main speaker at the press conference. They did, however, endorse the Institute for Hospital Improvement's "Bundle plans" outlining which solutions to use to treat line sepsis."Some aspects of the problem are solvable today," he said. "If we can work to implement this five-point plan, it will save many lives and a lot of money. We think these are better ideas than a punitive system of withholding money from hospitals."While most the recommendations have been made before by various groups, this is the first time they have been endorsed by such a broad array of stakeholders, Nash said, adding that because of that, he expects the message to be better heeded this time.-- Erik Swain

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