HealthDay News — Improved catheter safety measures in hospitals significantly reduce bloodstream infections and health care costs, according to a review published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.1

Teryl Nuckols, MD, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, and colleagues analyzed data on catheter-related bloodstream infections at 113 US hospitals over the past decade.

The researchers found that, on average, improved catheter safety measures reduced infections by 57%. They also lowered the cost of treating such infections by $1.85 million at each hospital over 3 years.

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“Due to the high cost of caring for patients when central-line infections develop, even sizable upfront investments in infection prevention can be associated with large net savings,” Dr Nuckols said in a medical center news release.2 “On the basis of our findings, hospitals that have not yet achieved very low rates of infection can consider implementing a variety of safety practices.”

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  1. Nuckols TK, Keeler E2, Morton SC, et al. Economic evaluation of quality improvement interventions for bloodstream infections related to central Catheters: a systematic review. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176:1843-1854. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6610
  2. Catheter safeguards at hospitals reduce infections and save money, study shows [news release]. Los Angeles, California: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. January 9, 2017.