HealthDay News — When nurses and physicians collaborate, the rate of common health care-associated infections decrease in intensive care units, results of a study published in Critical Care Nurse indicate.

To examine the relationship between nurse-physician collaboration and ventilator-associated pneumonia and central catheter-associated bloodstream infections in critically ill adults, Christine Boev, RN, PhD, of the St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and colleagues analyzed five years of nurses’ perception data from 671 surveys conducted at four intensive care units.

Nurse-physician collaboration was significantly related to both infections. The rate of the bloodstream infections decreased by 2.98 and pneumonia by 1.13 (both P=0.005) for every 0.5 unit increase in collaboration.

There was a lower incidence rate of infections in intensive care units with a higher proportion of certified nurses (0.43 lower incidence of bloodstream infections [P=0.02] and 0.17 lower incidence of pneumonia [P=0.01]). Units with more nursing hours per patient-day had a 0.42 decrease in the rate of bloodstream infections (P=0.05).

“Nurse-physician collaboration was significantly related to health care-associated infections,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Boev C et al. Critical Care Nurse. 2015; doi: 10.4037/ccn2015809