Results of the CHlorhexidine Gluconate Bathing implementation intervention to improve evidence-based nursing practices for prevention of central line associated bloodstream infections Study (CHanGing BathS): a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial.



Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) result in approximately 28,000 deaths and approximately $2.3 billion in added costs to the U.S. healthcare system each year, and yet, many of these infections are preventable. At two large health systems in the southeast United States, CLABSIs continue to be an area of opportunity. Despite strong evidence for interventions to prevent CLABSI and reduce associated patient harm, such as use of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing, the adoption of these interventions in practice is poor. The primary objective of this study was to assess the effect of a tailored, multifaceted implementation program on nursing staff's compliance with the CHG bathing process and electronic health record (EHR) documentation in critically ill patients. The secondary objectives were to examine the (1) moderating effect of unit characteristics and cultural context, (2) intervention effect on nursing staff's knowledge and perceptions of CHG bathing, and (3) intervention effect on CLABSI rates.


A stepped wedged cluster-randomized design was used with units clustered into 4 sequences; each sequence consecutively began the intervention over the course of 4 months. The Grol and Wensing Model of Implementation helped guide selection of the implementation strategies, which included educational outreach visits and audit and feedback. Compliance with the appropriate CHG bathing process and daily CHG bathing documentation were assessed. Outcomes were assessed 12 months after the intervention to assess for sustainability.


Among the 14 clinical units participating, 8 were in a university hospital setting and 6 were in community hospital settings. CHG bathing process compliance and nursing staff's knowledge and perceptions of CHG bathing significantly improved after the intervention (p = .009, p = .002, and p = .01, respectively). CHG bathing documentation compliance and CLABSI rates did not significantly improve; however, there was a clinically significant 27.4% decrease in CLABSI rates.


Using educational outreach visits and audit and feedback implementation strategies can improve adoption of evidence-based CHG bathing practices.

Trial registration, NCT03898115 , Registered 28 March 2019.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Reynolds, Staci S, Patricia Woltz, Edward Keating, Janice Neff, Jennifer Elliott, Daniel Hatch, Qing Yang, Bradi B Granger, et al. (2021). Results of the CHlorhexidine Gluconate Bathing implementation intervention to improve evidence-based nursing practices for prevention of central line associated bloodstream infections Study (CHanGing BathS): a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial. Implementation science : IS, 16(1). p. 45. 10.1186/s13012-021-01112-4 Retrieved from

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Staci Reynolds

Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Staci Reynolds joined Duke in January 2016.  At DUSON, Dr. Reynolds teaches in the ABSN Program (neuroscience nursing) and DNP program (healthcare quality improvement methods). Previously, she clinically served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at DUH within the neuroscience inpatient units and Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology department. In January 2023, Dr. Reynolds was appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.  Before coming to DUSON, she was a neurocritical care nurse and a neuroscience CNS at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Reynolds received a baccalaureate degree in nursing science from Indiana University (IU) in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She earned a Master’s degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at IU in 2011, and completed her PhD at IU in May 2016.  Dr. Reynolds’ dissertation focused on implementation of clinical practice guidelines, and her current research interests includes evidence-based practice implementation and quality improvement.


Qing Yang

Associate Research Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Qing Yang is Associate Professor and Biostatistician at Duke School of Nursing. She received her PhD in Biostatistics from University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Yang’s statistical expertise is longitudinal data analysis and time-to-event data analysis. As a biostatistician, she has extensive experience collaborating with researchers in different therapeutic areas, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health. Her current research interests are advanced latent variable models that are widely used in symptom cluster research and intensive longitudinal data analysis that arise from mobile health research.


Bradi Bartrug Granger

Research Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Bradi Granger is a Research Professor at Duke University School of Nursing, Director of the Duke Heart Center Nursing Research Program, and adjunct faculty at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is also a core faculty at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. Dr. Granger received her doctorate in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her MSN from Duke University, and her BSN from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Dr. Granger has extensive clinical experience in cardiovascular nursing, and her clinical work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist has been dedicated to overcoming barriers to the use and conduct of research in the service setting through the development of pragmatic tools that change the way nurses learn about, apply, and conduct nursing science. She has developed an innovative model for clinical inquiry and research in the hospital setting, which has been adopted in clinical settings across the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Granger is an active member of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Heart Association, and the European Society for Patient Adherence, Compliance, and Persistence. 

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