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Tuesday, July 8, 2014
at 12 pm ET

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Thursday, July 10, 2014
at 2 pm ET

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On Demand (Archived) Viewing Begins November 24, 2014
at 3 pm ET

This webinar was originally presented on August 8, 2014. On Demand viewing is now available. The content of this presentation reflects information as it was available at the time of the original presentation.

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The views and opinions reflected in this webinar presentation and panel discussion session are solely those of the presenters and should not be attributed to Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

This is a non-accredited program funded by Baxter Healthcare Corporation.


What's the Risk? Using Clinical Scenarios to Identify Practices That Place Our Patients at Risk of Bloodstream Infection

Vascular access devices (VADs) are the single most important cause of healthcare associated bloodstream infections (BSIs).1 Between 250,000 and 500,000 BSIs associated with VADs are estimated to occur annually in U.S. hospitals.1 Additional BSIs associated with vascular access therapy occur in outpatient, long term care and home care settings. These infections result in considerable morbidity and increased healthcare costs. Evidence based infection prevention practices, such as those recommend by the Infusion Nurses Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, should be implemented in all healthcare settings to help reduce the risk of healthcare associated BSIs.

The speaker will use scenarios to illustrate how common clinical situations relating to vascular access systems and practices can influence a patient’s risk of bloodstream infection. The speaker will present several scenarios and identify the risks for vascular-access infection associated with each situation. She will then discuss the evidence based infection prevention measures that should be used to reduce these risks.

Questions are welcome from all viewers during the extended question and answer session following the presentation. The presenter will be Ruth VanGerpen, APRN-CNS, Thoracic Oncology Nurse Navigator and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology, at Bryan Health in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Joining Ruth during the discussion panel will be Cheryl Havekost, RN, BSN Visiting Nursing Association, Omaha, Nebraska.

Session Learning Objectives and Content Highlights

  1. Explain how vascular access clinical practices can place a patient at risk for a bloodstream infection
  2. Describe at least three risk factors for vascular access-related infections in patients receiving intravascular therapy
  3. Identify at least three evidence-based practices that can be used to help prevent these infections


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Ruth Van Gerpen APRN-CNS, AOCNS® is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) for oncology and a thoracic oncology nurse navigator at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. Ms. Van Gerpen, an RN for 36 years, has over 28 years of experience in medical oncology.

Ms. Van Gerpen is responsible for professional and consumer education related to cancer, improvement of patient outcomes through implementation of evidence based practice, facilitation of several support groups and providing guidance, information and support to newly diagnosed individuals and their families.

Ms. Van Gerpen was instrumental in standardizing vascular access device care in Lincoln and Southeast Nebraska through the creation of a community-wide task force in 2002. She served as the consultant for the development of the "Standardizing central venous catheter care: hospital to home" guidelines with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2012.

She is active on the local and national levels of the Oncology Nursing Society. She has served as president, program committee chair and newsletter editor for the Southeast Nebraska ONS chapter. Ms. Van Gerpen served as team leader for the 2001 ONS Congress and was elected to the ONS Board of Directors where she served as Director-at-Large from 2002-2005.

In the community, Ms. Van Gerpen is an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society providing public education, training I Can Cope facilitators and Reach to Recovery volunteers. Ms. Van Gerpen has presented extensively on numerous topics including pain management, care of the patient with cancer, symptom management, infusion therapy and end-of-life issues.


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Cheryl currently works with the Visiting Nurse Association in Omaha, Nebraska as a clinical liaison specialist.

She has been an RN for almost 40 years. Her nursing diploma is from Nebraska Methodist and she later earned a BSN from the University of Nebraska. Experiences early in her career included working in acute care hospitals as a staff nurse in medical-surgical and ICU. In 1980 she took a position on the Nutrition Support Team at the University of Nebraska. She worked closely with physicians, pharmacists, and dieticians to assess, monitor, and provide quality care for patients receiving TPN and enteral therapy in the hospital.

Cheryl developed policies and procedures on intravenous therapy and provided education to the nurses on that care. She was involved in training and sending home the first patients to receive TPN in the home setting. In 1983 she joined one of the first national home infusion companies. She has worked extensively with home health agencies throughout Iowa and Nebraska, helping to train nurses in home infusion therapy.

In the last few years she has been involved in task forces in Lincoln and in Omaha to standardize policies and procedures for central line care in all settings including hospital, home health, outpatient centers, and skilled nursing facilities.


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Kathy Arias has worked in the infection prevention and control field since 1980 and is currently the Director of Arias Infection Control Consulting, LLC. She has infection prevention and control experience in a variety of settings, including acute care hospitals, long-term care, rehabilitation care, ambulatory care and industry. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She is Certified in Infection Control (CIC®) by the Certification Board of Infection Control (CBIC).

Kathy has been named the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Carole DeMille Achievement Award by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Kathy has taught epidemiology classes at Thomas Jefferson University and at the Medical College of Philadelphia and has served on the faculties of Penn State University and the Hahnemann University College of Allied Health Sciences. She is a frequent speaker at local, national, and international conferences.


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