Event Format



Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 01:00 PM – Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 02:00 PM





Event Host

Contact Information

Kristin Oliver


The Impact and Prevention of False Positive CLABSIs

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019
1 - 2 p.m. Eastern; noon - 1 p.m. Central; 10 - 11 a.m. Pacific

A central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) can be fatal and every effort is being made to eradicate them. All acute care hospitals must report CLABSIs to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) in the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program requirements. One of the biggest challenges with accurate reporting is a contaminated blood culture. If a patient has a central line, a contaminated blood culture can result in the reporting of a CLABSI.  With over 1.2 million contaminated blood cultures occurring in the U.S. annually, the frequency and associated cost of unnecessary CLABSI reporting is significant.

In addition to the financial impact associated with false CLABSI reporting, blood culture contamination has numerous downstream clinical and economic consequences. An average-sized hospital may have more than 300 patients impacted by false positive blood cultures every year in the ED alone. These patients are often treated with unnecessary antibiotics with attendant risks of secondary infection such as C. difficile, MDROs and other antibiotic-associated complications. Inappropriate antibiotic usage is the principal driver of antimicrobial resistance; a significant and growing global problem. It is estimated that blood culture contamination results in over $1 million dollars in avoidable costs to an average-sized hospital each year in addition to the costs associated with CLABSI reporting.

Join us to learn how the reduction of blood culture contamination delivers accurate CLABSI reporting, positive return on investment, improved antibiotic stewardship and increased patient satisfaction.  Hear the results from a Stanford Medical Center quality improvement project to eliminate false reporting of CLABSIs that successfully improved CLABSI reporting while the resulting 0% contamination rate prevented potential mistreatment of 103 patients over a 4-month study period.



  • About the impact and direct correlation between false positive CLABSIs and blood culture contamination.
  • About the clinical and cost implications of false-positive CLABSIs and additional clinical and economic impacts associated with blood culture contamination.
  • About an evidence-based technology solution to reduce blood culture contamination and false-positive CLABSIs.


Tom Talbot, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tenn.

Lucy Tompkins, MD, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Hospital Epidemiologist and Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control Department
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care
Stanford, Calif.

Barb DeBaun, MSN, RN, CIC
Improvement Advisor

Cynosure Health
San Francisco, Calif.