mission to zero partners

On a Mission to ZERO False-Positive Blood Cultures

Improve sepsis testing accuracy. Enhance patient safety. These are the driving forces behind Magnolia Medical Technology’s Mission to ZERO.

Mission to ZERO™ is a nationwide plan to create greater awareness of patient safety and antibiotic-associated risks caused by false-positive diagnostic test results for sepsis. The goal is to initiate change by improving national blood culture guidelines and contamination benchmarks while partnering with hospitals in their mission to significantly reduce blood culture contamination and false-positive central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSIs).

The Risks of Blood Culture Contamination

High blood-culture contamination rates lead to excessive broad-spectrum antibiotic usage. This, in turn, compromises a hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship efforts and increases the risk of patients experiencing antibiotic-associated complications like adverse drug events, multidrug-resistant organism infections, C. difficile, and acute kidney injury.[1]

Currently, the national benchmark for acceptable contamination rates sits at a too-high 3 percent, equating to over 1.4 million patients annually in the U.S. at risk of inappropriate treatment.[2]

In addition to the health risks, an estimated $6 billion is wasted annually due to false-positive blood culture results within the U.S. healthcare system.[3]


The Mission to ZERO is Achievable

Magnolia Medical is partnering with emergency departments, critical care units, clinical laboratories, and infection prevention teams within acute care hospitals across the country to make this a reality.

Clinicians like Shannon Colleen Jordan, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Prevention Manager, University Medical Center of El Paso, see the impact a misdiagnosis can have on a patient first-hand. Each team member, from executive to nurse, makes an individual pledge to participate. This enables all departments to work in tandem to ensure that the best possible patient outcomes and experiences are achieved.


“Once in a lifetime, Infection Preventionists have an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of their patients,” Jordan says. “Our biggest silent threat in Infection Prevention is multidrug-resistant organisms. By using Steripath®, we not only decrease blood culture contamination rates but also decrease antibiotics used as a result of false-positive blood cultures. This is a win-win situation.”


We are proud of all the hospitals that have partnered with us on our Mission to ZERO and look forward to all the new ones to come. This mission wouldn’t be possible without your commitment to excellence. Our partners' direct impact in helping patients avoid a misdiagnosis of sepsis while further driving antibiotic stewardship is truly remarkable.



[1]. Doern, G., et al. (2019) “A Comprehensive Update on the Problem of Blood Culture Contamination and a Discussion of Methods for Addressing the Problem.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews Clinical Microbiology Reviews Oct 2019, 33 (1) e00009-19; DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00009-19

[2] Patton, R. (2016). Blood Culture Contamination Definitions Can Obscure the Extent of Blood Culture Contamination: A New Standard for Satisfactory Institution Performance Is Needed. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 37(6), 736-738. doi:10.1017/ice.2016.30

[3] Geisler, B. P., Jilg, N., Patton, R. G., & Pietzsch, J. B. (2019). Model to evaluate the impact of hospital-based interventions targeting false-positive blood cultures on economic and clinical outcomes. The Journal of hospital infection, 102(4), 438–444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2019.03.012