• Collaboration with industry is an effective model for large scale performance improvement.

  • PIVC changes resulted in better first-stick success and PIVC dwell time.

  • Staff training is a critical for sustaining performance improvement success.

  • PIVC catheters with integrated extension tubing can reduce staff blood exposure.


Background: Insertion of peripheral vascular access devices (PIVC) is fundamental to patient care and may affect patient outcomes. Baseline data of PIVC insertions at a large medical center revealed that catheters required multiple insertion attempts, catheter hubs were manipulated to place extension sets, increasing the risk of complications, dwell times did not meet current standards, nurses experienced blood-exposure risk, and overall compliance with the hospital documentation policy was suboptimal. A 3-phase quality improvement project was conducted to address these concerns.

Methods: In Phase 1, an assessment of the current state of PIVC insertions and care was conducted using a mixed-methods approach consisting of an observational audit of insertion and maintenance practices, and retrospective chart reviews. In Phase 2, PIVC policies and practices were updated to reflect current standards. A new advanced design PIVC device was adopted, and education was provided to all staff. In Phase 3, the impact of these changes on key PIVC measures was assessed 1 year later.

Results: The analysis of the data found several improvements following implementation of an integrated IV catheter system: first-stick success rate increased from 73% to 84%, staff blood exposure was reduced from 46.67% to 0% (P = .01), improper securement of PIVC catheters was reduced from 11% to 0% (P = .002), and documentation compliance rate increased from 68% to 80%. The median PIVC dwell time doubled (from 2 days to 4 days).

Conclusion: Changes to policy, practices, and products plus education can improve the PIVC first-stick success, dwell time, documentation, and staff safety.

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