PICU honored with practice award for infection control

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Tucson Medical Center’s Pediatric Intensive Care unit was honored Monday for holding the line at zero central line-associated blood stream infections for two years straight.

 The unit was presented with the second TMC Excellence in Clinical Practice Award based on its work on improved quality outcomes related to patient care.

The zero CLABSIs rate for 2010 and 2011 “represents the TMC values of dedication and integrity at their best, and was accomplished with the use of best practices though a joint effort of the nursing and physician staff,” said Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Young. “It can be done!”

The unit has been selective about which patients are appropriate for central lines, and then removes the lines as soon as appropriate, said Sandi Baus, director of Infection Control. Jenny Baumgartner, the assistant manager of patient care services in the pediatric ICU, also credited the meticulous work by the physicians, as well as the follow-through by the nursing staff. “They take very good care of the patients and I wouldn’t know what to do without them,” Baumgartner said.

 The Coordinating Council nominated the unit after recognizing that this level of success required investment of time and energy in the development and modifications of processes, and a commitment to consistency of practice.

The PICU is in the 16th percentile for line utilization with central lines compared with similar facilities throughout the country for the two year period.

The event was marked by pizza and cake. Just as nurse Sarah Lancaster was about to partake, she heard a patient bell. Duty called. Pizza could wait. 

 A plaque will be placed in the hall across from the cafeteria.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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