Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection
Hospital acquired infections are referred to as nosocomial infections. They are costly and typically can be avoided. Central line infections are no exception. Central line infections are mostly acquired in the hospital since patients aren’t usually discharged with a central line. The national patient safety goal NPSG.07.04.01 is to implement evidence-based practices to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections. This requirement covers short- and long-term central venous catheters and peripherally inserted central catheter lines. New guidelines regarding central line infections have been established for health care facilities to execute based on the most recent findings and statistics.
The average payment for a patient who developed a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLAB) is $68,894, but the actual average cost of treating the patient was $91,733, leading to a gross loss of $26,839 per case. In 2009, an estimated 23,000 central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) occurred among patients in inpatient wards and, in 2008, an estimated 37,000 CLABSIs occurred among patients receiving outpatient hemodialysis. If for every one of those cases the average cost was $26,839, the total would be over 600 billion dollars a year. Of course, this is nationwide figure that is spread over every hospital on the census. However, it is still shocking. That is 600 billion dollars theses hospitals lose every year. One thing learned in economics is that an amount that large affects one and all.
If a hospital loses more money than it can make, it will shut down, simple as that. Before it does however, the hospital will struggle to stay open and do so however it can. This could mean the cutting of wages or laying off employees. Or turning patients away that do not have adequate insurance. Bottom line, corners will be cut to compensate the...