Beth Ann Rhoton

Better IV line care bundle beats back CLABSI

Beth Ann Rhoton

Beth Ann Rhoton, RN, BSN, MS, CIC
Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center
Charleston, SC

Beth Rhoton, an infection preventionist in the Children’s Hospital of the 700-bed Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Medical Center, lives by the motto: “Engage the staff. You can’t do it by yourself.” Channeling teamwork and team-think into her department, her recent collaborative efforts included creating an IV line-care bundle to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates that had been stable for years. 

“We had already adopted the Institute for Healthcare Improvement bundle, but pediatric lines are a bit different,” said Rhoton. “We saw that the Children’s Healthcare Association had a bundle for the pediatric ICU (PICU) that was beginning to have an impact on CLABSI. We looked at their bundle and several other measures to create our own.” In 2009, MUSC implemented a bundle that addressed all lines, focusing on six key areas: hand hygiene (HH); using a mask with open lines; proper accessing techniques; assessment of line necessity daily; catheter-site dressing change and care; and IV tubing and injection-cap care.

The new bundle reduced the CLABSI rate in the MUSC PICU and pediatric cardiothoracic ICU by 93 percent and 84 percent, respectively. Supported by live classes and computerized training modules, the new bundle was implemented across the institution. Rhoton will share details as part of a poster presentation at the APIC 2012 Annual Conference. 

Rhoton has served the infection prevention profession in many other ways. In 2006, she was a member of the group that created a law around mandatory healthcare-associated infection reporting in South Carolina. Numerous other states have now emulated this law, and Rhoton shares credit for its clarity and effectiveness.

After nearly 20 years in infection prevention, Rhoton still looks forward eagerly to her next projects and challenges.

“Every day brings the opportunity to work with dedicated people in an institution where excellence is the goal,” she said. “We are driven to help improve patient care and support one another at the same time.”