Understaffing has been previously reported as a risk factor for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). No previous study addressed the question whether fluctuations in staffing have an impact on CLABSI incidence. Scheier, et al. (2021) analyzed prospectively collected CLABSI surveillance data and data on employee turnover of healthcare workers (HCWs) to address this research question.
In January 2016, a semiautomatic surveillance system for CLABSI was implemented at the University Hospital Zurich, a 940 bed tertiary care hospital in Switzerland. Monthly incidence rates (CLABSI/1,000 catheter days) were calculated and correlations with human resources management-derived data on employee turnover of HCWs (defined as number of leaving HCWs per month divided by the number of employed HCWs) investigated.
Over a period of 24 months, the researchers detected on the hospital level a positive correlation of CLABSI incidence rates and turnover of nursing personnel (Spearman rank correlation, r = 0.467, P = 0.022). In more detailed analyses on the professional training of nursing personnel, a correlation of CLABSI incidence rates and licensed practical nurses (Spearman rank correlation, r = 0.26, P = 0.038) or registered nurses (r = 0.471, P = 0.021) was found. Physician turnover did not correlate with CLABSI incidence (Spearman rank correlation, r = −0.058, P = 0.787).
The researchers conclude that prospectively determined CLABSI incidence correlated positively with the degree of turnover of nurses overall and nurses with advanced training, but not with the turnover of physicians. Efforts to maintain continuity in nursing staff might be helpful for sustained reduction in CLABSI rates.
Reference: Scheier T, et al. Does continuity in nursing staff matter? A pilot study on correlation of central line-associated bloodstream infections and employee turnover. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Vol. 10, article number 90. 2021.