Major article| Volume 41, ISSUE 12, P1200-1204, December 2013

Trends in validity of central line–associated bloodstream infection surveillance data, New York State, 2007-2010

Published:September 16, 2013DOI:


      In 2007, New York State (NYS) hospitals began mandatory public reporting of central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) data associated with intensive care units (ICUs) into the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). Facilities were required to use the NHSN device-associated CLABSI criteria to identify laboratory-confirmed bloodstream infections.


      Onsite audits were conducted in ICUs by NYS hospital-acquired infection program staff using a standardized database. Hospitals provided ICU patient medical records with a positive blood culture during a selected time frame.


      Between 2007 and 2010, an average of 79% of all reporting hospitals were audited annually. Of the 5,697 patients audited, 3,104 (54%) had a central line in place, and 650 of the patients with a central line (21%) were identified as having a CLABSI by the hospital-acquired infection program reviewer. Between 2007 and 2010, the specificity increased from 90% to 99%, whereas the sensitivity remained stable at approximately 71%. As a result of the audit process, the NYS 2010 CLABSI rate increased by 5.6%.


      A standardized audit process has helped improve the accuracy of CLABSI reporting. Data validation provides consistent data for measuring the progress of infection prevention strategies and allows for relevant comparison of ICU data.

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