Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are relevant in developing countries where frequencies can be at least 3 times higher than in developed countries. The purpose of this research was to describe the intervention implemented in ICUs to reduce HAIs through collaborative project and analyze the variation over 18 months in the incidence density (ID) of the three main HAIs: ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-related urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and also the length of stay and mortality in these ICUs.
Methods: A quasi-experimental study in 5 public adult clinical-surgical ICUs, to reduce HAIs, through interventions using the BTS-IHI “Improvement Model”, during 18 months. In the project, promoted by the Ministry of Health, Brazilian philanthropic hospitals of excellence (HE) regularly trained and monitored public hospitals in diagnostics, data collection and in developing cycles to improve quality and to prevent HAIs (bundles). In the analysis regarding the length of stay, mortality, the IDs of VAP, CLABSIs and CAUTIs over time, a GEE (Generalized Estimating Equation) model was applied for continuous variables, using the constant correlation (exchangeable) between assessments over time. The model estimated the average difference (β coefficient of the model) of the measures analyzed during two periods: a period in the year 2017 (prior to implementing the project) and in the years 2018 and 2019 (during the project).
Result: A mean monthly reduction of 0.427 in VAP ID (p = 0.002) with 33.8% decrease at the end of the period and 0.351 in CAUTI ID (p = 0.009) with 45% final decrease. The mean monthly reduction of 0.252 for CLABSIs was not significant (p = 0.068).
Conclusions: Given the success in reducing VAP and CAUTIs in a few months of interventions, the achievement of the collaborative project is evident. This partnership among public hospitals/HE may be applied to other ICUs including countries with fewer resources.
Trial registration: This research was promoted and authorized by Brazilian Ministry of Health, carried out through the Institutional Development Program of the Integrated Health System PROADI-SUS12 and approved by Ethics Committee of the Hospital das Clínicas - UFPE, under No. 3,307,293.