NURS 4221 Week 3 Discussion

NURS 4221 Week 3 Discussion

The process improvement model I have chosen to address the problem of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) is the Six Sigma Model. Six Sigma is a highly effective methodology for process improvement that utilizes a comprehensive set of tools and rigorous data analysis to identify sources of performance variation and reduce those variations (Spath, 2013). It has gained credibility in healthcare, with nearly 1 in 5 physician leaders using Six Sigma to enhance healthcare performance (Spath, 2013). The DMAIC methodology, consisting of five steps, is followed in the Six Sigma approach: Define the problem, Measure key process aspects, Analyze the data, Improve the system, and Control and sustain the improvement (Spath, 2013).

One of the critical issues associated with CLABSIs is their high incidence in intensive care unit (ICU) settings. Studies indicate that out of approximately 249,000 annual bloodstream infections in U.S. hospitals, 80,000 (32.2%) occur in the ICU, primarily due to the frequent use of central venous catheters in this setting, which is a strong predictor of bloodstream infections (Chopra et al., 2013). Mortality rates associated with CLABSIs range from 12% to 25%, and the annual costs of treatment exceed $2 billion (Merrill et al., 2014). 

NURS 4221 Week 3 Discussion

To measure key aspects of CLABSIs, it is important to understand how these infections occur and identify strategies to reduce their occurrence. Analyzing the data would involve evaluating effective measures for decreasing CLABSIs and assessing the associated costs of treating these infections. Additionally, monitoring the number of central lines being managed is crucial.

To improve the system, it is essential to document necessary changes that can decrease CLABSI rates. For instance, implementing innovative approaches, such as the use of disinfectant caps placed over IV needleless connectors, has shown promise in reducing CLABSIs in the ICU (Merrill et al., 2014). Finally, controlling and sustaining the improvement involves ensuring that the implemented plans and interventions are effective and continued over time. Monitoring progress is crucial to assess the success of the process improvements and their long-term sustainability.


Chopra, V., Krein, S. L., Olmsted, R. N., Safdar, N., & Saint, S. (2013). Prevention of Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections: Brief Update Review. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from 

Merrill, K. C., Sumner, S., Linford, L., Taylor, C., & Macintosh, C. (2014). Impact of universal disinfectant cap implementation on central line-associated bloodstream infections. American Journal of Infection Control, 42, 1274-1277. Retrieved from

Spath, P. (2013). Introduction to healthcare quality management (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

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