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AHRQ Awards $3 Million to Help Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in Hospital ICUs

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded nearly $3 million for a contract to help reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) by spreading the knowledge gained from a previous AHRQ-funded project. The Health Research & Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, has been selected to coordinate the new 3-year project, which is part of an AHRQ initiative to reduce health care-associated infections.

The project will continue work started by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association to implement a comprehensive unit-based patient safety program to help prevent infections related to the use of central line catheters. Often referred to as central venous catheters, central line catheters are tubes placed into a large vein in a patient's neck, chest or groin to administer medication or fluids or to collect blood samples. Each year, an estimated 250,000 cases of central line-associated bloodstream infections occur in hospitals in the United States, and an estimated 30,000 to 62,000 patients who get the infections die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The comprehensive program, designed to survey and improve an intensive care unit's patient safety culture, was developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and has been used in more than 100 ICUs in Michigan. The program includes tools to help health care professionals identify opportunities to reduce potential health care-associated infections and implement policies to make care safer. Within 3 months of implementation in Michigan, the program helped reduce infection rates to zero in more than 50 percent of participating hospitals.

Under the new contract, the safety program will be implemented by statewide consortia in at least 10 different states. The consortia, which will be established as part of this project, will include members of state hospital associations, quality improvement organizations and public health agencies.

"This is an exciting opportunity to provide health care professionals with valuable tools that support patient safety by eliminating health care-associated infections in ICUs," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "Application of these research findings will help us reach our goals of improving patient care and ensuring that Americans receive high-quality, safe health care."

The project will be funded through AHRQ's Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks initiative, an implementation model of field-based research designed to promote innovation in health care delivery by accelerating the diffusion of research into practice.

For more information on AHRQ's patient safety research, visit

SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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