CHG Bathing to Decrease Central Line Infections

MMC’s annual implementation plan identified decreasing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) as a key area of focused improvement. Our interprofessional CLABSI taskforce – led by Dr. Mark Parker and Joanne Chapman, MSN, RN, NE-BC – completed an intensive review of CLABSI practices in an effort to decrease infections. This review included a listening tour with residents, attending providers and clinical nurses to identify central line care concerns.

Clinical nurses quickly identified that the evidence-based bathing procedure was confusing and inconsistent. Carrie Strick, CNL and Beth Thivierge, Manager, Vascular Access then convened a bathing team to standardize the procedure. The team recommended process changes and new products to be used during the procedure. Once funding was secured, the team completed a house-wide education on the use of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) wipes for all patients with central lines. The new process was implemented in January 2019 resulting in a marked decrease in non-mucosal barrier injury (MBI) CLABSI.

Maine Medical Center

Clearly, when nurses are involved, practice gaps and process improvements can be identified and implemented to achieve sustained progress.