CCN Study Finds Collaboration Impacts HAI Rates

Apr 02, 2015

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Nurse-physician collaboration associated with decreased rates of common healthcare-associated infections

Article in Critical Care Nurse examines relationship between nurse-physician collaboration and decreased rates of CLABSI and VAP

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — April 2, 2015 – Collaborative relationships between nurses and physicians decrease rates of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in critical care, according to an article in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse (CCN).  

The article, “Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Hospital-Acquired Infections in Critical Care,” examines the association between nurses’ perception of their working relationships with physicians and the rates of two of the most common HAIs.

The research team found that lower rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) occurred in critical care units in which nurses reported a more favorable perception of nurse-physician collaboration. 

“Our findings suggest that raising the quality of collaboration and communication among nurses and physicians has the potential to improve patient safety,” said study author Christine Boev, RN, PhD, CCRN. “Efforts to prevent healthcare-associated infections must include interventions to improve nurse-physician collaboration.”

Boev is an assistant professor, Wegmans School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York.

She points to multidisciplinary daily patient rounds and interprofessional educational programs, such as shared simulation training, as examples of interventions that improve nurse-physician collaboration.

For the study, the researchers conducted a secondary analysis of five years of nurse perception data from 671 surveys of nurses in four specialized intensive care units (ICUs) at a 750-bed New York hospital. They also collected patient outcome data from those units for the same period, focusing on patients with CLABSI or VAP.

Also included in the analysis were unit-level variables such as nurses’ skill mix, nursing hours per patient day and voluntary turnover. Findings related to those variables include: 

  • ICUs with a higher proportion of certified nurses were associated with lower incidences of both CLABSI and VAP. 
  • ICUs with higher numbers of nursing hours per patient day were associated with decreased rates of CLABSI. 
  • The research team did not find any correlation between nurses’ skill mix and voluntary turnover on HAI rates. 

As the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ bimonthly clinical practice journal for high acuity, progressive and critical care nurses, CCN is a trusted source for information related to the bedside care of critically and acutely ill patients.

The study provides the latest data to support the link between work environments and patient outcomes, an underlying tenet of AACN’s healthy work environment initiative and its “AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments” report. 

Access the article abstract and full-text PDF by visiting the CCN website at

About Critical Care Nurse:  Critical Care Nurse (CCN), a bimonthly clinical practice journal published by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, provides current, relevant and useful information about the bedside care of critically and acutely ill patients. The journal also offers columns on traditional and emerging issues across the spectrum of critical care, keeping critical care nurses informed on topics that affect their practice in high acuity, progressive and critical care settings. CCN enjoys a circulation of more than 100,000 and can be accessed at

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109

Phone: (949) 362-2000
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