10 things for CFOs to know about CLABSIs

Central line-associated bloodstream infections are one of the most costly hospital-acquired infections, so reducing these conditions should be a top focus for hospital CFOs.

Here are 10 things CFOs should know about CLABSIs.

1. The CDC defines a central line as an intravascular catheter used for infusion, withdrawal of blood or hemodynamic monitoring that terminates at or close to the heart or in one of the great vessels.1

2. A CLABSI is defined as "a laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infection where a central line or umbilical catheter was in place for more than two calendar days on the date of event, with the day the device was placed being day one, or the day before."1

3. CLABSI make up 36 percent of excess costs in U.S. hospitals associated with all HAIs.2

4. Per infection, CLABSIs cost a hospital an average of $45,800 due to the expenses associated with increased length of stay, antibiotics, supportive care, aftercare and rehabilitation. When combined with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, a CLABSI can cost closer to $58,500.2

5. On average, CLABSIs add roughly 10.4 days to a patient's length of stay, or 15.7 days if the patient has both a bloodstream infection and a MRSA infection.2

6. On a national level, CLABSIs decreased by 46 percent between 2008 and 2013.

7. According to Hospital Compare data gathered from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, CLABSI rates fell most in Hawaii, South Dakota, Oregon, Idaho and Minnesota.

8. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found using disinfectant caps on intravenous needleless connectors led to a 40 percent drop in CLABSIs.

9. The Joint Commission created a nine-step guide on how to develop a business case analysis for CLABSIs, which can be accessed here.

10. An analysis of case studies developed from an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's national project outlined four specific practices and "success factors" for reducing and eliminating CLABSIs in healthcare facilities.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 2015. Bloodstream Infection Event (Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection and Non-central line-associated Bloodstream Infection). http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/PDFs/pscManual/4PSC_CLABScurrent.pdf

2 Becker's Hospital Review. Patient Shield Concepts. May 12, 2015. The True Cost of HAIs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QyKhmeFeL8

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