For us, it's about total specimen integrity

Steripath Study Awarded ENA 2019 Best Evidence-Based Project

12-month initiative demonstrates improved patient care and decreased hospital costs by reducing blood culture contamination

Seattle, WA (Oct. 2, 2019) – An Inova Fairfax initiative measuring the impact of the Steripath® Gen2 Initial Specimen Diversion Device® (ISDD®) to reduce blood culture contamination was awarded the Best Evidence-Based Project at the Emergency Nursing 2019 Conference in Austin, Texas.

Results from the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus Emergency Department trial were presented today by lead author Kara Bauman, MN, RN, Clinical Educator at Inova Fairfax. The twelve-month trial evaluated 10,879 blood cultures drawn using Steripath which represented 80% of the cultures collected during the full year trial period. This study reported a sustained 0.8% contamination rate when using Steripath, an 82% reduction compared to standard method.

“We salute the entire team at Inova Fairfax for their ongoing commitment and leadership in delivering enhanced patient safety and reducing healthcare costs through the adoption of Steripath,” said Greg Bullington, CEO of Magnolia Medical. “This recognition from the Emergency Nursing Association as the ‘Best Evidence-Based Project’ is an honor. It is also a testament to the clinical importance of the sustained reduction in blood culture contamination achieved with Steripath over the course of an entire year,” said Bullington.

Blood cultures are used to help diagnose serious and potentially life-threatening blood infections such as sepsis. These blood draws may become contaminated with bacteria-harboring fragments of a patient’s skin that enter the needle during the blood collection process. Studies have shown that conventional techniques often lead to false positive results that can impact sepsis diagnoses for over 1.2 million patients in the U.S annually.(1) These patients may be subjected to unnecessary antibiotic treatment, extended length of stay, increased exposure to hospital-acquired infections and other antibiotic related complications.

Steripath ISDD is a sterile, closed blood culture collection system that diverts and isolates the initial 1.5-2.0 milliliters of blood – the portion known to most likely contain contaminants(2) – from the blood culture sample draw. It is the only technology of its kind, backed by 14 clinical studies, including 5 publications in leading peer-reviewed medical journals supporting both its clinical and cost effectiveness.(3,4,5,6,7)

The presented results demonstrate that when Steripath is used for blood culture collection Inova Fairfax’s contamination rate is 74% lower than the national benchmark. The estimated cost savings to the hospital was reported to be $932,400 from avoidable costs associated with contaminated blood cultures. Based on these results, Steripath Gen2 ISDD was implemented as standard practice for blood culture collection at the Inova Fairfax Emergency Department.

This was an Inova Fairfax initiated trial and does not constitute a product endorsement.

  1. Zwang, O., et al. Journal of Hospital Medicine (2006)
  2. Patton, R., et al. Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2010)
  3. M. Rupp, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases (2017)
  4. M. Bell, et al. Journal of Emergency Nursing (2018)
  5. F. Zimmerman, et al. American Journal of Infection Control (2019)
  6. E. Skoglund, et al. Journal of Clinical Microbiology (2019)
  7. B. Geisler, et al. Journal of Hospital Infection (2019)