Central Line Care: Empowering Patients to Prevent Infection and Injury Via EPIC2

Rebecca D. Suttle, DNP, CRNP, AGACNP-BC; Heather M. Buffington, DNP, CRNP, NP-C; Wendy T. Madden, DNP, RN, OCN®; Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE


Background: Central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are associated with an increased risk of mortality, prolonged hospitalizations, and inflated cost of care. Patients in the hematology-oncology specialty unit are at greater risk of developing CLABSIs because of their immunocompromised state and high number of central line (CL) days.

Objectives: The aim of the EPIC2 project was to reduce CLABSI rates on a hematology-oncology specialty unit with historically high CLABSI rates despite prior quality improvement efforts.

Methods: EPIC2 used the theory of planned behavior as the framework for changing patient behavior and was based on evidence from the Partners in Your Care© handwashing study that successfully engaged patients to hold healthcare professionals accountable.

Findings: The three-month preintervention average CLABSI rate was 5.69. During the intervention period, the average rate was 3.24. This accounted for a 43% reduction in CLABSIs. Participants in the EPIC2 project reported feeling empowered to speak up against improper CL care.

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