Jerri LaRocco, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President of Nursing at DCMH
Every day, nurses must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people to perform their jobs. I’m proud to be part of a system-wide, interdisciplinary committee that has demonstrated this principle, with excellent results. Our committee has a singular goal: to enhance patient care and patient safety by reducing the number of central line infections across the health system.
The committee was formed in 2007. In addition to nurses, the committee consists of physicians and representatives from a range of areas, including Quality, Information Services, Materials Distribution and others. All Crozer-Keystone hospitals are represented on the committee.
Working together, we evaluated central line practices as they existed at the time. We found that practice varied significantly from hospital to hospital, and even from unit to unit. Based on our findings, we made a number of suggestions to standardize the equipment and processes being used in our hospitals. This includes the “CL Bundle,” which consists of all of the pieces that a physician needs to put in a central line and the nurse needs to maintain it. All of our suggestions were based on evidence-based medicine.
Since implementing our suggestions, each hospital has significantly decreased the number of central line infections, and some departments have gone more than six months without an infection of this type. Teamwork among our caregivers has been a key factor in this success, but nurses have been especially instrumental in reducing CL infections. Nurses across the system have become “guardians” of the line, effectively changing the philosophy that one or two central line infections are acceptable.
Now that we’ve looked at the adult population, our committee has moved to specialty units, including evaluating care for neonatal patients. We are currently evaluating central line practices in our intensive care nurseries at Crozer and DCMH.
As you can tell by the content of this newsletter, Crozer-Keystone takes good care of mothers and babies in our community. I’m confident that by working together, our committee will soon offer helpful suggestions to enhance care of our youngest, most fragile patients.