"All of those devices confer risk and if we take the time to do really great education with clinicians, patients and their families and involve them in the process and show them the process toward keeping things as safe as possible we can have really big wins in terms of patient lives and medical dollars."
Rinke says earlier research has shown that children receiving outpatient chemotherapy develop three times as many bloodstream infections from their central lines than do children in hospitals. In addition to the serious and potentially fatal health risks that come with bloodstream infections, they can cost up to $45,000 for additional treatment.
The CHAM study used a multidisciplinary team led by nurses who worked with Rinke to educate clinic nurses, homecare nurses and patient families on how to safely and reliably manage central lines. Infection rates of 330 patients who received the intervention were compared to 339 patients who received ambulatory care before the intervention started.
Assessments were completed pre- and post-intervention to compare CLABSI rates and positive blood culture rates. Rinke says the intervention may have prevented more than 70 hospital admissions for children with cancer and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional healthcare costs.