Evidence-based guidelines have resulted in decreases in bloodstream infections associated with central catheters (CLABSIs) in hospital intensive care units. However, relatively little is known about CLABSI incidence and prevention in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).


A central catheter maintenance bundle was implemented in 30 LTACHs, and compliance with the bundle was tracked for 6 months. CLABSI rates were monitored for 14 months before and 14 months after the bundle was implemented.


The pooled mean CLABSI rate (No. of infections per 1000 days with a central catheter) was 1.28 before the bundle and 0.96 after the bundle (repeated measures general linear model; F1,58 = 6.973; P = .01; partial η2  = .11). From 14 months before to 14 months after the bundle was implemented, the mean number of CLABSIs per LTACH decreased by 4.5 (95% CI, 1.85–7.15). Time series modeling showed a significant decrease in the mean hospital CLABSI rate after the bundle was implemented (−0.511 CLABSI/1000 catheter days, SE = 0.050), indicating an immediate effect of the bundle. The mean hospital CLABSI rate was decreasing slightly before the bundle was implemented and continued to decrease at a reduced rate after the bundle was implemented.


The bundle resulted in a significant and sustained reduction in CLABSI rates in 30 LTACHs for 14 months. These results encourage the development and implementation of similar bundles as effective strategies for infection reduction in LTACHs.

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