Tracking neonatal nosocomial infection: the continuous quality improvement cycle


Tracking neonatal nosocomial infection: the continuous quality improvement cycle


Gill AW; Keil AD; Jones C; Aydon L; Biggs S


The Journal Of Hospital Infection




Humans; infant; Incidence; infant; Newborn; Cross Infection/epidemiology/prevention & control; Infant Care/methods/organization & administration/standards; Infection Control/methods/organization & administration/standards; Quality Improvement/organization & administration/standards


Neonatal nosocomial infection (NNI) is a major complication of neonatal care, increasing mortality, morbidity and the costs of healthcare. Management of NNI involves attention to many details of care, creating a culture of change within a neonatal unit and the implementation of a continuous quality improvement cycle. This paper describes the initiation of a quality improvement team (QIT) and the aspects of infection control bundles that have been implemented. The setting was a single large perinatal centre over a seven-year period. Statistical tracking of NNI in exceedingly premature infants was by control charting methodology. A steady and statistically significant decline in NNI rates from 13 to seven episodes per 1000 bed-days (censored to day 35) for infants less than 29 weeks of gestation has been recorded. A multidisciplinary QIT has managed the implementation of measures designed to reduce NNI in the unit. These have included raising awareness of the need for asepsis, improved hand hygiene, increased vigilance in using central lines, monitoring blood culture collection techniques and improving the environment. We believe such measures in conjunction with the positive feedback obtained from charting have been responsible for the steady decline in NNI. This study is one of the first to close the QIT loop and to demonstrate statistical improvement in NNI through the introduction of specific care bundles.


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Gill AW; Keil AD; Jones C; Aydon L; Biggs S, “Tracking neonatal nosocomial infection: the continuous quality improvement cycle,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 23, 2024,