Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 250,000 cases of CLABSI occur in hospitals in the United States each year. An estimated 80,000 CLABSIs occur in intensive care units (ICUs) alone. In November 2008, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awarded nearly $3 million for a contract to help reduce CLABSIs in hospital ICUs, which has become a nationally recognized problem.
For many years, the Infection Prevention and Control Committee at Silver Cross Hospital conducted CLABSI surveillance in the ICU. A task force was created in the fall of 2013 to reduce the incidence of infection rates throughout the hospital, specifically targeting the ICU. Since implementation of the CLABSI taskforce, CLABSI rates have decreased and improvements have been sustained, especially among the ICU population.