What Are We Measuring?

Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) are associated with insertion, maintenance or prolonged usage of a central line—a narrow catheter inserted to deliver important medications and fluids. When not placed correctly or kept clean, bacteria and other germs can travel through the central line and enter the patient’s bloodstream.

How We Are Performing?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports CLABSI using a standardized infection ratio (SIR), which compares the total number of infections to the predicted number of infections during a selected time period. The measure takes into account risk factors that may impact the number of infections at a facility, including facility size, the types of patients treated, and kinds of procedures performed.

SIRs below 1 indicate that the observed number of infections during the measured period was lower than would be expected, while values above 1 indicate that the observed number of infections was higher than expected.

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Lower scores are better

Data source: National Healthcare Safety Network

   ★ Performance is statistically better than the benchmark
= Performance is statistically similar to the benchmark
   ▼ Performance is statistically worse than the benchmark


What Are We Doing to Improve?

At Mass General, our ultimate goal is to achieve zero CLASBI. We follow best practice techniques outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include proper hand hygiene, cleansing of the patient’s skin before line placement, using full barrier precautions during insertion and early line removal. In addition, we bathe patients in the ICU with chlorhexidine daily and use special chlorhexidine sponge dressings on all central lines to reduce the risk of infection.