Eliminating CLABSI, A National Patient Safety Imperative: Final Report

Appendix A: Interview Questions

Interview Questions

Interview Questions for State Hospital Association Leads Participating in On the CUSP: Stop BSI


To obtain lessons to inform the final On the CUSP: Stop BSI report to AHRQ, HRET is interviewing hospital association leads in a total of 10 States to learn what worked and didn't work in implementing this initiative in the States. Five top-performing and five low-performing States are being selected based on:

  • Degree of improvement in CLABSI rates from baseline to latest reporting quarter, or for those States with a low baseline CLABSI rate like Virginia, the number of units in the State that have sustained a zero CLABSI rate for the last two reporting quarters.
  • Degree of engagement determined by: 1) number of hospitals recruited and retained throughout the 24-month participation period, 2) data submission rates, and 3) unit attendance on content and coaching calls.

Interviewer:  Deb Bohr
Team Support:  Jasmine Davis
Estimated time to complete interview: 30-40 minutes

Background on Respondent

1. Name:
2. Title:
3. Role on CUSP project:

Opening Questions

  1. Are there one or two things that stand out in your mind about your State's participation in this initiative? Anything really memorable?
  2. How many FTEs are working on all patient safety initiatives in your State?
  3. What are the quality improvement/patient safety (QI/PS) strategic priorities of your association?

SHA Engagement with On the CUSP: Stop BSI

  1. How did your association decide to be part in this initiative? Who were the key decisionmakers in that decision?
  2. On a scale from 1-5, with 5 being the most engaged, how engaged has your association board and leadership been with On the CUSP: Stop BSI?

SHA Infrastructure to Support On the CUSP: Stop BSI

  1. Staffing:  Please discuss all of the staff in your association, including yourself, and contractors who are involved in this project. Please tell me the job title, percent time devoted to this work, their qualifications and skills, and prior experience with QI/PS initiatives and State-wide collaboratives.

    Name/Title % FTE Qualifications & Skills Prior experience with QI/PS
  2. Are there other SHA systems, departments or committees in place to support your work with this initiative?  For example, does your SHA have a quality council? How often does it meet? How involved are your member hospital CEOs in that council and/or other SHA quality initiatives?

SHA Consortium

  1. What other State-based agencies are you collaborating with in eliminating CLABSI? (Prompt: QIOs, State Department of Health, local chapters on infection prevention, State Medical Societies, State Charter APIC, State Charter SHEA, Other.)

NPT Support to State Leads

  1. What did the NPT do that helped you coordinate the program in your State?
  2. What things did the NPT not do that would have been helpful?

CUSP & CLABSI Curriculum

  1. First let me ask you your overall impression of how the content was rolled out. What are thoughts on how the content was rolled out? What was most helpful? What could be improved? 


Immersion Calls
  1. Did you and your teams find the immersion calls helpful? If so, why? If not, why not?
Monthly Content Calls
  1. Did you and your teams find the monthly content calls helpful? Did they occur often enough? Anything else?
  2. Did you review the monthly participation logs that we sent to you after each call? If so, did you follow-up with teams that missed calls?
Monthly Coaching Calls
  1. Did you and your teams find the State coaching calls helpful? Did they answer your teams' questions? Keep them engaged? Occur frequently enough? Was it by Email or phone?
  2. Did you review the monthly participation logs that we sent to you after each call? If so, did you follow-up with teams that missed calls? Email or phone?
  3. Did you and your teams find the support of the JHU and MHA advisors helpful? Please explain how. Anything that you think could be improved?
Data Training
  1. Was the training your teams received on how to collect and report CLABSIs helpful? If not, why not? 
Supplemental Calls
  1. Did you and your teams participate on the monthly Supplemental Calls? If so, did you and they find them helpful? If not, why not?

Recruitment and Retention

  1. What methods did you use to recruit your hospitals? What worked? What didn't work?
  2. Looking back, do you think there were things you would have done differently to increase recruitment?
  1. How many units dropped out? What reasons did they give?
  2. Were you successful in retaining any units that indicated they wanted to drop out? If so, how did you retain them?


Communication with Teams
  1. How often did you communicate with your teams? What were the primary discussions with your teams? What forms of communication did you use to communicate with all teams? What forms of communication did you use to contact individual units? Prompts: group and individual Email, group conference calls, individual phone.
  2. Tell me about your communication with high outliers and late data submitters. How did you follow up with these teams? Who did you speak to? Did you ever contact a senior leader?
  3. Did you communicate with teams that were "missing in action" on content calls and/or coaching calls? If so, how did you follow up?
  4. Did you visit any of your participating hospitals? If you didn't visit all of them, how did you choose which teams to visit?
Communication with SHA Leadership, Board and Quality Council
  1. How were SHA leaders involved in the project? 
  2. Did they communicate project results with the Hospital CEOs in the project? 
  3. Did you regularly communicate your results to the SHA top leadership, board and/or quality council? If so, how often? 
Communication at National Meetings
  1. Did you or another member of your SHA present your State's results at a State or national forum? If so, which one(s)?

Barriers and Challenges

  1. What barriers and challenges did you hear about from your teams regarding the implementation of the CUSP model? Do you have examples of how these barriers were successfully overcome?
  2. What barriers related to the technical aspects of CLABSI elimination? Do you have examples of how these barriers were successfully overcome?
  3. What did you learn based on these barriers and challenges?


  1. Overall, what would you say worked for your teams? For your successful teams, what components of the On the CUSP: Stop BSI program were most helpful to your teams? (Prompts: manuals and tools, content calls, coaching calls, face-to-face meetings)
  2. What did you learn from this initiative that you hope to apply to future QI/PS work in your State?
  3. Will you use CUSP for other QI/PS efforts in your State? Why or why not?


  1. How will you sustain the CUSP program in your State? How will you sustain focus on eliminating CLABSI in your State?

Close out Questions

  1. Were the expectations you had when you entered into this work met? If so, tell me more. If not, why not?
  2. What advice would you like to give to the National Project Team (NPT) about running future national collaboratives? 
  3. Any final thoughts?

Thank you for your Time and Insights. This information will be shared with the NPT and included in summary form in our final report to AHRQ.

Page last reviewed January 2013
Page originally created January 2013
Internet Citation: Appendix A: Interview Questions. Content last reviewed January 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/cusp/clabsi-final/clabsifinalap.html