Magazine article Drug Topics

CUSP Cuts Central Line Infections

Magazine article Drug Topics

CUSP Cuts Central Line Infections

Article excerpt

Is your health system having problems with central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)? A hospital-based patient safety program can reduce CLABSIs by up to 40%. Preliminary findings from a project sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the American Hospital Association prevented more than 2,000 CLABSIs in 1,100 adult intensive-care units across 44 states over four years.

The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, or CUSP helped hospitals save more than 500 lives and more than $34 million in associated healthcare costs.

"CUSP shows us that with the right tools and resources, safety problems like CLABSL· can be prevented," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, at a press briefing. "This project gives us a framework for taking research to scale in practical ways that help frontline clinicians provide the safest care possible for their patients."

Multidisciplinary approach

CUSP also gives pharmacists one more arena in which to bring their medication expertise to patient safety issues.

"We have used CUSP to deal with ventilator-associated pneumonias [VAP], glucose control, severe sepsis, and other safety- related problems," Shikha Kapila, PharmD, told Drug Topics. She is a clinical pharmacist in the surgical intensive care unit at St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a member of several CUSP teams.

"CUSP is a multidisciplinary approach, which is key. All of these safety issues have multiple facets that involve multiple approaches by multiple departments. When we tackled severe sepsis, for example, we addressed it in terms of both antimicrobial management and hemodynamic stability. Our projects to achieve tighter glucose control and reduce VAP also had clear pharmacy elements. The hospital wanted and needed a pharmacist to guide and champion certain parts of the efforts."

Using muMdisciplinary teams to tackle spécifie problems is nothing new. What is new is that CUSP provides a standard approach and tool kit that helps hospitals institutionalize the multidisciplinary approach and apply it to almost any issue that involves patient safety.

"CUSP brings together everyone who can help solve a problem," said Diane Cousins, PvPh, health science aa"ministrator for AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. …

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