Northern Region celebrates CLAB-free milestones

11 April 2013

Staff in the Northern Region involved in the national Target CLAB Zero programme are being congratulated for their success in improving safe care for patients requiring intensive care by reducing Central Line Associated Bacteraemia (CLAB) infections.

Waitemata DHB has achieved 404 days without any (CLAB) infections. Auckland DHB’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, despite having the highest usage of central lines in New Zealand, has been CLAB-free for 375 days to the end of February.

Auckland DHB attributes its success to a quality improvement initiative which involved its three intensive care units working collaboratively to improve compliance to best practice and reduce CLAB as part of the Target CLAB ZERO programme, sponsored by the Health Quality & Safety Commission in partnership with Ko Awatea.

A group of dedicated nurses came together to deliver Target CLAB ZERO in each of their respective units. Together they developed training packages and policies, aligned with the national programme, monitored progress and focussed on educating others.

This approach also helped Auckland DHB’s Paediatric Intensive Care’s insertion of the central lines achieve full compliancy with national standards.

“The Northern Region as a whole has made a great effort to roll out national insertion and maintenance bundles to other areas of the hospital, such as theatres and wards, with Counties Manukau Health the first to complete a hospital-wide roll-out,” says Suzanne Proudfoot, CLAB Project and Campaign Manager, Ko Awatea. “Northland DHB has developed policies and procedures that align with the National Programme and have benefited from the establishment of a local team that can focus on ongoing recording and reporting of both the insertion and maintenance compliance. They have been 247 days CLAB free to the end of February 2013.”

Target CLAB ZERO recently held the last of its learning sessions and the focus is now on celebrating the successes of the teams and planning for sustainability moving forward.

“Although we celebrate these CLAB-free days, having a CLAB incident does remind us of the importance of ongoing vigilance with our insertion and maintenance bundle compliance and the need to identify ongoing opportunities for improvement,” says Suzanne. Ko Awatea and the Health Quality & Safety Commission will continue to work together to hold the gains, which will in part involve the ongoing monthly recording of data into the national database.

Reduction of CLAB is a key priority under the First, Do No Harm patient safety campaign and the Northern Region teams are to be congratulated for the excellent progress they have made says First, Do No Harm Clinical Lead Karen O’Keeffe.