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Infection Control on a Shoestring Budget

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   July 03, 2012

To help reduce VAP, the team placed red duct tape on the walls of patient rooms to remind staff to elevate the head of the patient's bed by 30 degrees, which has been shown to reduce the risk of VAP. Ferris says the red line on the wall provides a visual cue for people (including the housekeeping staff and patient families) to know that the top of the mattress should be even with the duct tape.

"We're a county hospital and duct tape doesn't cost a whole lot," she adds.

On the CLABSI front, Ferris says she interviewed staff and discovered that nurses were spending a lot of time gathering equipment. So she went to the store and bought jumbo-sized Ziploc bags and created kits that included supplies like a full drape, surgical gown, cap, mask, and a compliance checklist.

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"You can do it anywhere—you don't have to have a big budget," Ferris says. "The most important thing that you have to have as the leader of the project is enthusiasm." 

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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