Reducing blood culture contamination in community hospital emergency departments: a multicenter evaluation of a quality improvement intervention

Self WH, Mickanin J, Grijalva CG, Grant FH, Henderson MC, Corley G, Blaschke Ii DG, McNaughton CD, Barrett TW, Talbot TR, Paul BR.
Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Mar;21(3):274-82.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.

  • Measured the effect of implementing a sterile blood culture collection process.
  • At Hospital A, during the baseline period, 165 of 3,417 (4.83%) cultures were contaminated as compared to 142 of 5,238 (2.71%) during the intervention period. At Hospital B, during the baseline, 63 of 2,509 (2.51%) cultures were contaminated. But with the full sterile process, 51 of 1,865 (2.73%) cultures were contaminated.
  • Hospital B experienced poor adherence. So, a simplified sterile process used during intervention period 2 was associated with a significant reduction in contamination, with 17 of 1,860 (0.91%) cultures contaminated.
  • Monitoring the implementation process was important to identify and overcome operational challenges.

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