Valley Children’s Clinical Teams Reach Milestone for Patient Safety

Valley Children’s Clinical Teams Reach Milestone for Patient Safety

(Madera, California) – Valley Children’s commitment to providing the safest patient care is central to clinical operations – and clinical teams have reached an important milestone of 12 months without a single central line-associated blood stream infection (CLABSI).

“This accomplishment was achieved after a decade-long commitment to eliminating this harm to our patients. This was possible because of a dedicated team effort, multiple iterations to perfect the insertion and the maintenance of lines and most importantly, a change in our perspective,” says Valley Children’s Vice President of Quality, Patient Safety and Medical Affairs Dr. Karen Dahl. “Many of us were taught in medical school that infections were an inevitable part of central lines – if you have one long enough, it will get infected. But as we came to believe this was simply not true and we could do better for our patients, the team pushed even harder.”

Central lines, such as central venous catheters (CVCs) and peripherally inserted central lines (PICCs), are useful tools for patients who are in need of frequent blood draws, nutrition and intravenous medication. Some of the tiniest babies are no strangers to having a central line to administer these treatments. A central line is placed in the patient’s veins through the groin, neck, chest or arms.

While a central line increases the risk of bacteria or other germs entering the blood stream if not properly cared for, it is preferred over having to poke a patient for each treatment. A little infection can quickly turn into a life-or-death matter because some of our youngest patients don’t have fully developed immune systems.

The team’s success is fostered by adhering to the CLABSI bundle elements – a collection of tools that promote strict safety guidelines – and taking a team approach to the management of central lines.

“This milestone is a testament to the hard work of our care teams and our organizational commitment to patient safety,” says Dr. David Christensen, Valley Children’s senior vice president of medical affairs and chief physician executive. “During a time when our world is facing health uncertainties, families in the Central Valley can count on us to provide the best care for their kids if they are in need.”

Valley Children’s was recently recognized for quality and patient safety as one of the nation’s Top Children’s Hospitals by the Leapfrog Group for the second year in a row. Additionally, for the fourth consecutive year, Valley Children’s received the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses - an award that recognizes the unit’s exceptional patient care and healthy work environment.

During the unprecedented year of 2020, when patient care was paramount to our country and the world, Valley Children’s continues to be a trusted source to care for kids, now more than ever.

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