Medline recently unveiled its new Vascular Access Health Solution, offering enhanced practices and approaches that support the evolving infection prevention needs of health systems across the nation.
The need for standardization in the vascular access health space is significant, especially with central line bloodstream infection (CLABSI) incidents rapidly increasing since the onset of the pandemic.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CLABSIs have increased about 24% since the onset of the pandemic. The CDC also reports the largest increase in CLABSI occurred in Q4 of 2020, at 47% across all location types.
About 70% of CLABSI infections are avoidable through following consistent, evidence-based practices for prevention. A key component of the Vascular Access Health Solution is Medline’s unique approach to bundling, offering kits that are intuitively-designed and provide clear instruction and ease of use for clinical staff from insertion of the central venous catheter to removal. Bundling is proven to be a successful technique in CLABSI prevention, with studies showing a decrease in infections, from approximately from 6.4 per 1,000 catheter days to 2.5 per 1,000 catheter days.
Tracey Haines, BSN, RN and manager of strategic sourcing for Kettering Health’s supply chain management team, has over 32 years of clinical experience and is a strong advocate for bundling. Kettering Health is a long-standing Medline partner, utilizing the company’s EBSI dressing change kits for many years.
“Kits equal less CLABSI incidents all day long,” said Haines. “Nurses are the managers of the lines. There are likely two reasons why there might be an issue, either from insertion or maintenance. The majority of the time it’s maintenance-related and that’s why bundling is the most important factor in CLABSI prevention.”
Haines also says that bundles can help streamline processes, save clinicians’ time, alleviate workload, and overall, help health system’s maintain their bottom line through minimizing mistakes in gathering and unpacking materials and eliminating risks for contamination.
Bundles are also helpful during labor-constrained circumstances and can be adopted quickly for less-experienced nurses and travel nurses who are new to a health system. When describing the EBSI kits, in particular, Haines emphasizes its intuitive functionality.
“I remember the day we first saw the kit laid out,” Haines said. “It’s user-friendly and has clear instructions. With previous kits, you had to be taught how to use it. This one is intuitive. I’ve only heard positive feedback from our nurses.”
After working in the hospital setting for over 18 years, Haines wanted to get into supply chain leadership to continue making an impact, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Having first-hand experience, she can communicate from both worlds – corporate and the frontline – to ensure staff is better supported through the products and tools they use every day.
“This is a gift and a calling for me,” Haines said. “If I don’t share it, it’s a waste.”
When reflecting back on the hardships of the pandemic, Haines pays tribute to the resiliency of all healthcare workers.
“We learned that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s easy to be comfortable in silos, but we had to break through them and come together,” she said. “These experiences have changes us forever, and we will function differently moving forward. That’s some positivity that has come out of this.”
Learn more about the benefits of bundling for CLABSI prevention through Medline’s Vascular Access Health Solution.
 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Guide to Preventing Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections. Washington, DC; APIC Implementation Guides, December 2015. Available at: http://www. apic.org/Professional-Practice/Implementation-guides#Preventing Accessed May 26, 2016.
 Ista E, van der Hoven B, Kornelisse RF, van der Starre C, Vos MC, Boersma E, Helder OK. Effectiveness of insertion and maintenance bundles to prevent central-line-associated bloodstream infections in critically ill patients of all ages: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Jun;16(6):724-734. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00409-0. Epub 2016 Feb 18. PMID: 26907734.