Nationwide Program to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections Implemented by VA

July 27, 2011

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented a nationwide program to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

According to an article posted yesterday (July 26, 2011) on the VA’s website, the VA has determined a simple way to reduce central line infections, stating its hospitals have reduced such infections “by more than half in all 174 intensive care units, or ICUs, throughout VA.”

According to Dr. Marta Render, Chief of the VA Inpatient Evaluation Center in Cincinnati, all VA ICUs have been given a protocol to follow.  Dr. Render further explained:

“It’s a checklist of things doctors and nurses need to do before they insert a central line into a patient. Most importantly, we trained our ICU medical teams how to do these things, and we measured how well each ICU stuck to the program.”

Dr. Render further added that when ICU nurses saw infection rates dropping by more than 50 percent, they enforced the use of the protocol.

The following items are on the VA’s Checklist Protocol

  • Hand Washing
  • Appropriate Dress (cap, mask, sterile gown, and sterile gloves)
  • Use of correct antiseptic for sterilization of incision sites
  • Avoidance of insertion of central lines in the femoral area, if possible.
Click here to read the full VA Article.

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