Skin Prep for Central Venous Catheters

Does the Joint Commission still require the use of a chlorhexidine-based antiseptic when inserting a central line?

The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG.07.04.01) requires healthcare organizations to implement evidence-based practices to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections.

Element of Performance (EP) 11 required healthcare organizations to use a chlorhexidine-based antiseptic for skin preparation when inserting a central venous catheter in patients over two (2) months of age, unless contradicted.

As of June 2010 the Joint Commission revised EP.11 to require healthcare organizations to use an antiseptic, cited in scientific literature or endorsed by professional organizations, for skin preparation when inserting a central venous line.  This change was effective immediately.

The Joint Commission stated that this EP was revised to remove specific requirements related to clinical practice, which allows the healthcare organization to use emerging clinical research and newly accepted clinical practices.

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