Clinical question: Does the use of disinfection caps on catheter hubs on central venous catheters (CVCs) reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and blood culture contamination (BCC) in hematology-oncology patients?
Background: CVCs have facilitated the administration of chemotherapy, blood products, and fluids in cancer patients; however, their use has also brought about risk of infections. Use of an antiseptic barrier cap may result in decreased rates of CLABSI and BCC.
Study design: Multiphase prospective study
Setting: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City.
Synopsis: Disinfection caps on CVCs were sequentially introduced on high-risk units (HRUs) followed by hospital-wide implementation. The primary outcome was hospital-wide and unit-specific rates of hospital-acquired (HA) CLABSI. In Phase 1 and 2, the CDC guidelines for catheter maintenance were followed. In Phase 3, the intervention was implemented in the HRUs. In Phase 4, the intervention extended hospital-wide. HA-CLABSI declined significantly compared to baseline only in HRUs. A possible explanation is that reduction in CLABSI on general wards was not apparent due to the short follow-up period as opposed to the longer follow-up period for the HRUs. The secondary outcome was that the rates of BCC declined significantly in Phase 3 and 4 when compared to Phase 1 and 2. As for limitations, the study is not a randomized controlled trial; variable follow-up periods may have contributed to different outcomes observed on the different units.
Bottom line: Implementation of disinfection caps significantly reduces rates of CLABSI in HRUs and reduces BCCs in both HRUs and general oncology units, with substantial clinical and cost-savings implications.
Citation: Kamboj M, Blair R, Bell N, et al. Use of disinfection cap to reduce central-line-associated bloodstream infection and blood culture contamination among hematology-oncology patients. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1401-1408.
High Workload among Attending Physicians Has Negative Outcomes
Retrospective study found associations between higher attending physician workload and lower teaching evaluation scores from residents as well as increased risks to patient safety.
Citation: Wingo MT, Halvorsen AJ, Beckman TJ, Johnson MG, Reed DA. Associations between attending physician workload, teaching effectiveness, and patient safety. J Hosp Med. 2016;11(3):169-173.