• Ultrasound-guided peripheral and midline IV access decreased PICC insertion volume.

  • Ultrasound-guided peripheral and midline IV access decreased the CLABSI rate.

  • Ultrasound-guided peripheral and midline IV access decreased CLABSI treatment cost.

  • Modified PICC insertion hours improved the efficiency of nurses’ workflow.


Background: The process for patients to receive a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) has been unclear, allowing for delays in care and discharge and increased costs. To address these problems, a vascular access team implemented the Lean process. The purpose was to evaluate the effect of an ultrasound initiative to insert peripheral intravenous lines (IVs) and midlines and modification of PICC insertion hours on the nurses’ workflow and patient outcomes.

Methods: This quality improvement project used retrospective data analysis. Patients’ data from fiscal year (FY) 2010 to FY 2019 was analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent t tests for continuous data, and a Poisson regression for count data.

Results: After the ultrasound initiative, the volume of PICC insertions decreased by 20%, which represents a significant reduction. The mean cost also decreased from $171,681 to $147,620. Although there was no substantial cost saving, the total cost was reduced by 14%. After implementation of ultrasound guidance for peripheral IV and midline access, the central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rate dropped by 70%. The estimated treatment cost for CLABSI significantly decreased from $481,600 to $156,800. After implementation, the total estimated cost savings was $1,624,000. Modified PICC insertion hours resulted in significantly reduced mean hours from order time to insertion.

Conclusions: Standard work and process improvements using the Lean process were effective. The ultrasound initiative decreased unnecessary PICC insertions, reduced cost, and decreased the CLABSI rate. Modified PICC insertion hours enhanced the nurses’ work by reducing the average time from PICC order to placement.

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