The Impact and Prevention of False Positive CLABSIs

  • Event Date:
  • Event Time: Noon Central

A central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) can be fatal and every effort is being made to eradicate them. All acute care hospitals must report CLABSIs to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) in the CMS Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program requirements. One of the biggest challenges with accurate reporting is a contaminated blood culture. If a patient has a central line, a contaminated blood culture can result in the reporting of a CLABSI.  With over 1.2 million contaminated blood cultures occurring in the U.S. annually, the frequency and associated cost of unnecessary CLABSI reporting is significant.

In addition to the financial impact associated with false CLABSI reporting, blood culture contamination has numerous downstream clinical and economic consequences. An average-sized hospital may have more than 300 patients impacted by false positive blood cultures every year in the ED alone. These patients are often treated with unnecessary antibiotics with attendant risks of secondary infection such as C. difficile, MDROs and other antibiotic-associated complications. Inappropriate antibiotic usage is the principal driver of antimicrobial resistance; a significant and growing global problem. It is estimated that blood culture contamination results in over $1 million dollars in avoidable costs to an average-sized hospital each year in addition to the costs associated with CLABSI reporting.

Join us to learn how the reduction of blood culture contamination delivers accurate CLABSI reporting, positive return on investment, improved antibiotic stewardship and increased patient satisfaction.  Hear the results from a Stanford Medical Center quality improvement project to eliminate false reporting of CLABSIs that successfully improved CLABSI reporting while the resulting 0% contamination rate prevented potential mistreatment of 103 patients over a 4-month study period.


  • About the impact and direct correlation between false positive CLABSIs and blood culture contamination.
  • About the clinical and cost implications of false-positive CLABSIs and additional clinical and economic impacts associated with blood culture contamination.
  • About an evidence-based technology solution to reduce blood culture contamination and false-positive CLABSIs.


« View All Events

Thought Leaders

Barbara DeBaun, RN, MSN, CIC
Improvement Advisor
Cynosure Health
Barbara DeBaun, RN, MSN, CIC image

Barbara DeBaun has over 35 years of experience in the field of infection prevention and quality improvement.  She is currently an Improvement Advisor for Cynosure Health where she provides vision and leadership in the development, implementation and facilitation of infection prevention and quality improvement initiatives for healthcare organizations.  Previously, she was an Improvement Advisor for BEACON, the Bay Area Patient Safety Collaborative, and was the Director of Patient Safety and Infection Control at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.   She is currently adjunct faculty at Dominican University of California.  Barbara is a certified Infection Control Practitioner and holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pace University in New York and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from San Francisco State University.

Barbara is an active member of APIC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and recently served two years as an elected member of APIC Board of Directors. Prior to her board service, she served as APIC’s liaison to the Centers for Disease Control’s Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).  Barbara has lectured nationally and internationally on a variety of patient safety and infection control topics and has published over a dozen articles and several book chapters.  In 2008, she was selected as Infection Control Today’s Educator of the Year.

Tom Talbot, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Tom Talbot, MD, MPH image

Is a Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and also serves as the Chief Hospital Epidemiologist for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN.  Dr. Talbot is a recognized expert in the field of healthcare epidemiology and infection control and has served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and on the Board of Directors for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).  Dr. Talbot has more than 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with original research studies focusing on healthcare personnel vaccination, HAI surveillance, and improving hand hygiene as a tool to drive a culture of safety.

Lucy Tompkins, MD, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Hospital Epidemiologist and Medical Director of Infection Prevention
Stanford Health Care and Stanford University School of Medicine
Lucy Tompkins, MD, Ph.D. image

Dr. Tompkins is the Lucy Becker Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine) and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (joint).  She serves as the Hospital Epidemiologist and Medical Director of the Infection Prevention and Infection Control Department at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics since 1983, and she chairs the Infection Control Committee.  She also serves as co-Chair of the Emerging Infections and Bioterrorism Committee and is a Member of the Quality and Patient Safety Excecutive Committee.. She has held several leadership positions at Stanford School of Medicine.  She is the former Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine (2001-8). She served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for 11 years and led the career development and mentoring program for faculty at Stanford School of Medicine, including as Co-chair of the Committee on Diversity. As an investigator, she has published over 120 articles and book chapters. Her areas of research include the cellular, molecular, and genetic basis of pathogenicity and host-pathogen interactions of Helicobacter pylori, ,Legionella sp, and Bartonella henselae (she is the co-discoverer of this species) and clinical and molecular epidemiology of healthcare associated infections. Her current research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare onset Clostridium difficile infection and the application of new technologies to prevent hospital associated infections. At the University level, Dr. Tompkins was a Stanford University Fellow (2005-7) and a Member of the Steering Committee, Stanford University International Initiative, 2004-2005 and served on the Executive Committee, Stanford University International Initiative, 2005-2008. At the national level, Dr. Tompkins was a member of Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) for 9 years, the Awards Committee, and the Taskforce on the IDSA Foundation. She has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (CDC) and the Board of Counselors, Clinical Center, NIH. She also served as a member of the NIH/NIAID Study Section on microbial pathogenesis.  She has presented her research at many national and international meetings and has served as a Visiting Professor at many universities.  She served as an Associate Editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases for 11 years. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow of IDSA, Fellow of  SHEA (The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America) , and a Member of the American Association of Physicians and the Western Association of Physicians.

Dr. Tompkins has been a faculty member on the University track (tenure track) at Stanford for 36 years and has more than 38 years of clinical experience in infectious diseases and hospital epidemiology. During that time she has mentored more than 26 graduate and postdoctoral students. She received the Walter E Stamm Mentor Award from the IDSA in 2013. 

On Demand Button