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Posted: January 12th, 2024

Combating Hospital-Acquired Infections in the Intensive Care Unit NUR-419

Combating Hospital-Acquired Infections in the Intensive Care Unit


Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a major problem in healthcare settings, and they are particularly common in intensive care units (ICUs). HAIs can lead to prolonged hospital stays, increased mortality rates, and the development of antibiotic resistance. This paper will discuss the problem of HAIs in ICUs, and it will propose a quality improvement project that aims to reduce the incidence of HAIs.
Problem Statement

HAIs are a major problem in healthcare settings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 25 patients in the United States acquires an HAI during their stay in the hospital. HAIs are estimated to cost the U.S. healthcare system $20 billion each year.

ICUs are particularly susceptible to HAIs. This is because ICU patients are often critically ill and have weakened immune systems. They are also more likely to have invasive devices, such as central lines and ventilators, which can increase the risk of infection.

The most common HAIs in ICUs include:

Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
Surgical site infections
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections

These infections can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and death. They can also prolong hospital stays and increase healthcare costs.
Quality Improvement Project

This quality improvement project aims to reduce the incidence of HAIs in ICUs. The project will focus on implementing evidence-based practices that have been shown to reduce the risk of infection. These practices include:

Hand hygiene
Central line bundle
Ventilator bundle
Surgical site infection prevention bundle

Implementation Plan

The project will be implemented in three phases:

Education and training: Healthcare providers will be provided with education and training on the evidence-based practices that will be implemented. This training will be delivered in a variety of formats, including in-person workshops, online modules, and video tutorials.
Implementation: The evidence-based practices will be implemented in all ICUs in the hospital. The implementation will be monitored closely to ensure that the practices are being implemented correctly.
Evaluation: The effectiveness of the project will be evaluated by comparing the incidence of HAIs before and after the implementation of the project.


This quality improvement project has the potential to reduce the incidence of HAIs in ICUs. By implementing evidence-based practices, healthcare providers can help to protect patients from these infections and improve their outcomes.

Buković, M., et al. “Hand hygiene compliance and its impact on healthcare-associated infection rates: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Hospital Infection (2021): 106, 110-118.
Kuzovlev, A., et al. “Effectiveness of ventilator bundle interventions to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Critical Care (2019): 23, 281.
Nguyen, H. T., et al. “The effectiveness of continuous monitoring and feedback on healthcare-associated infection rates: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Hospital Infection (2021): 106, 119-127.
Poh, J., et al. “Effectiveness of central line bundle interventions to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Critical Care (2020): 24, 280.
Zinatsa, V., et al. “Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of evidence-based practices for preventing healthcare-associated infections: a systematic review.” Journal of Hospital Infection (2018): 99, 9-21.

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