I have written before about the unintended adverse consequences of an inability to be honest about HAI prevention, and Mike recently blogged about “aspirational goals” and reality. At the end of his post, Mike linked to an inspiring news story about the success being achieved at the City of Hope, among the sickest of patients. A telling quote from this piece demonstrates how “zero talk” can not only motivate, but also demoralize those who are on the front lines of infection prevention:
"It's tough, especially when there is a lot of literature out there that talks about zero infections….I think there should be zero infections. But not all health care-associated infections are preventable.”
As if on cue, I got an e-mail today from
Bard Access Systems APIC, announcing the roll-out of a new website entitled, “I Believe in Zero CLABSIs”. Zero is no longer an “aspirational goal” for Bard Access Systems APIC, but a very concrete one:
“We not only believe in Zero CLABSIs — we know it is possible, and we are confident that the tools and resources contained on this website will provide you with the framework you need to help your facility BELIEVE and ACHIEVE ZERO CLABSIs.”
If APIC is unwilling or unable to speak honestly about HAIs, they will eventually lose credibility with their members who fight daily to prevent them. Furthermore, insisting that zero is already achievable weakens the rationale to perform the kind of groundbreaking translational research that is needed to push CLABSI rates ever closer to an irreducible minimum. Why investigate novel approaches to prevention if we already know how to eliminate every CLABSI?