Medical ICU Reaches Rare Milestone: 2 Years CLABSI-Free | MedStar Health

Medical ICU Reaches Rare Milestone: 2 Years CLABSI-Free

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Unit 2G Credits Teamwork, Communication for Success

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2016 – MedStar Washington Hospital Center medical intensive care unit 2G achieved an impressive milestone on March 18 (and counting): two years without a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), a huge accomplishment for an ICU.

Patients with a central line—a catheter (tube) inserted into a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests—are at particular risk for infections because the line remains in the body for days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a 46 percent decrease in CLABSIs in hospitals across the U.S. from 2008 to 2013. Yet, an estimated 30,100 CLABSIs still occur in intensive care units and wards of U.S. acute care facilities each year.

“Our success stems from a highly reliable collaborative environment,” noted Susan Eckert, MSN, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “This could only be achieved through teamwork and communication, and a constant effort to maintain the lines.”

The physicians and nurses on 2G also credit dedicated training and focus for their success at keeping CLABSIs at bay. Twice a week, they check on every patient and assess if the central lines are still needed for that patient. In fact, everyday, nurse leaders take the extra step of reviewing central line records to verify that the line is absolutely necessary.

“The passion of the front line staff for keeping patients safe and providing high quality care is evident in these results,” added Eckert. “We are incredibly proud of their excellent patient care.”

What can patients do to prevent CLABSI? Read the Hospital Center blog, detailing ways patients can take an active role in preventing infection.



MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. U.S.News & World Report consistently ranks the hospital’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.