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CDC Targets Central-Line Bloodstream Infections with New Tech

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the launching of a new initiative with the goal of more quickly identifying central-line-associated bloodstream payments in hospital patients.

The initiative, sparked by the fact that roughly 250,000 patients in American hospitals develop such infections every year, with a cost of anywhere from $5,734 – $22,939 per patient for treatment, is a joint research project with the healthcare quality-improvement and group-purchasing organization Premier, and the Chicago Prevention Epicenter at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County. One of the ancillary goals of the project is to develop a way to automate the reporting of central-line associated infections. It will use an “electronic surveillance system” containing an infection-detection algorithm, developed by Chicago Prevention Epicenter researchers, and using the CDC’s current infection definition as developed by the National Healthcare Safety Network, to screen blood samples at Premier’s 2,300 member hospitals for potential infections.

As with the surveillance system currently in place, only patients who are suspected of having a bloodstream infection will be screened, but under the new initiative, the screenings will be performed with a high-speed electronic tool. The project, set to last two years, will measure whether the combined infection definitions, along with automated surveillance technology, will help healthcare providers more quickly identify and treat central-line-associated bloodstream infections.

The CDC has not stated whether or not this will roll out to other hospital systems any time soon.

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