More CLAB-free months for Northern Region

12 October 2012
Earlier this year the Northern Region celebrated a patient safety milestone, with no cases of central line-associated bacteraemia (CLAB) recorded in the region’s intensive care units in April. Now there is even more to celebrate, with the months of May and August also CLAB-free.
“This is a very encouraging achievement which reflects focus and collaboration by participating project and clinical leads, microbiologists and infectious diseases physicians,” says Suzanne Proudfoot, CLAB Project and Campaign Manager, Ko Awatea.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC) entered into a partnership with Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) via Ko Awatea to facilitate a national programme to ‘Prevent Central Line Associated Bacteraemia (CLAB)’. This national programme is aiming for less than 1 CLAB per 1,000 line days.

Within the Northern Region, reduction of CLAB is a key priority under the First, Do No Harm patient safety programme. In the first three months of this year, there were at least four cases of CLAB in the intensive care units reported each month in the Northern Region. In the five months since March there have been just three cases in total.

While individually our hospitals have taken up the challenge and are benefitting from the processes and resources produced by Ko Awatea, there is evidence that regional cooperation is also helping to make a difference. This was well-demonstrated recently when a patient arrived at Middlemore Hospital from Auckland DHB with a central venous line in place. Prior to this National CLAB prevention programme the patient’s central line would have been removed and a new line inserted. However Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff noted that both the insertion bundle and maintenance bundle processes had been followed with the checklists completed by staff at Auckland DHB. The patient kept the existing line and avoided the trauma of having it replaced.

“What makes this really exciting is that it shows the positive difference the staff make most importantly for the patient,” says Suzanne.CLABChart

The Northern Region accounts for 44 percent of New Zealand’s total line days.