Improving Care for Patients Receiving PVCs

Catheter-associated blood stream infections (CABSI) can have a significant impact on patient morbidity while increasing healthcare utilization costs. CABSIs are preventable, and several strategies are used to reduce these infections, including training healthcare workers, ensuring compliance with proper placement technique, promptly removing catheters associated with a high risk of infection or that are no longer needed, and providing feedback to improve healthcare worker accountability. These strategies have focused largely on central venous catheters and ICUs, but few data are available in the non-ICU setting. Peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) are commonly used in hospitals, but previous studies have reported poor compliance with the care of these catheters and serious events relating to infectious complications. “In many hospitals, there is room for improvement in the maintenance and care of PVCs,” says Mohamad G. Fakih, MD, MPH. “Improving the process will help reduce the risk of CABSI.” Testing an Intervention to Improve PVC Care In the May 2012 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Dr. Fakih and colleagues had a study published evaluating the effect of education and feedback on process measures to improve PVC care and infectious complications. Nurses and patients in 10 non-ICUs were involved in the analysis, and the intervention was applied during four periods, each one lasting 3 months in duration. The four periods included a pre-intervention phase and three staggered real-time education and feedback interventions. “Our study intervention included use of formal lectures, printed educational materials, audits, and immediate feedback to the nurses on their performance,” adds Dr. Fakih. Five units participated in the intervention (Group A), while the other five served as a control group...