Blood culture contamination reduction project saves pediatric hospitals $49k a month

A study published in Pediatrics examined the efficacy of a quality improvement project that aimed to reduce the blood culture collection contamination rate at a children's hospital.

The QI project included forming a multidisciplinary team, creating a process map and a cause-and-effect analysis, sending out surveys to nurses and creating observation sheets that were used to identify problem areas and record common deviations during the collection process.

Additionally, the QI team standardized the blood culture collection protocol and further emphasized nurse education. They used optimal weight-based blood volumes when collecting blood and updated EHRs to show appropriate volumes in the order.

Researchers found the QI project was able to decrease the average contamination rate from 2.85 percent to 1.54 percent, saving the hospital an estimated average of $49,998 per month.

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