Preventing Catheter Associated Blood Stream Infections (CA-BSI)

What Is a Catheter Associated Blood Stream Infection?

A catheter is a small plastic tube that is placed into the blood vessels near the heart. It may be used to deliver important medications, food and other nutrition. It may also be used to draw blood for testing or monitor blood pressure. A catheter associated blood stream infection occurs when germs enter the blood stream through a central line catheter and cause a patient to become sick.

Why Do We Measure?

  • CA-BSIs cause a patient to become ill.

  • Low rate of CA-BSIs can indicate the cleanliness and safety of a hospital facility.

  • We aim to continue to reduce the rate of CA-BSIs using data we collect.

How Do We Measure?

The CA-BSI rate is calculated by the number of infections per 1,000 inpatient days.

How Are We Improving?

  • We continue to implement best practices and provide new prevention techniques.

  • We promote hand hygiene.

  • Our infection rate is among the lowest in the country.

Blood Stream Infection Graph

How Do I Read This Chart?

We report our data using what is known as a control chart. There are four elements on the chart. 1) The blue diamonds: these are the actual data points for each month. They depict the event rate as defined on the vertical axis. 2) and 3): The dotted red lines: these are the upper and lower control limits. They are scientifically calculated to represent the statistical range within which normal random variation occurs in a stable system. 4) The solid red line. This is the average of the blue diamonds for that time frame. As long as the blue diamonds are within the dotted red lines, the system being measured is a stable one. There are certain patterns of blue diamond configuration (e.g. diamonds outside the control limits), that mean something in the system has changed. This is called special cause variation and will usually involve a deeper investigation as to why the new pattern of variation. Each control chart contains an arrow which indicates the desired change direction. For most harm events, the desired direction is down (i.e. less harm is better). For other measures (compliance rates, days between harm events) the desired direction is up.