A Return to IV Teams?

As with many things in nursing things change; the pendulum swings back. I am hopeful that we are witnessing the return to the use of IV teams. In speaking with nurses from all over the country, I am hearing that there is resurgence of the use of IV teams; with many teams transitioning to become vascular access teams.

A major goal in hospitals now is to “target zero” i.e.; achieve zero percent intravenous catheter-related infections. The CDC Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections 2011 recommendations re: designation of competent staff for insertion and maintenance of IV catheters states: “Specialized “IV teams” have shown unequivocal effectiveness in reducing the incidence of CRBSI, associated complications, and costs.” It is well documented in the literature that IV teams improve vascular access outcomes and are a valuable resource to staff.

Although peripheral short IV catheters (PIVs) are less likely to cause a blood stream infection than a central line; CRBSIs due to PIVs can occur. CRBSIs are a major threat, but just one of the many problems poor insertion technique and multiple start attempts can cause. With CMS – Medicare/ Medicaid no longer paying for catheter-related infections; the impact of a dedicated IV/vascular access team can significantly decrease patient morbidity and costs.

Say it is so…

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