Safe Insertion of Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: Equipment Availability Varies

Intravenous cannulation is undertaken in a high proportion of hospitalized patients. Much international attention has been given to the use of care bundles to reduce the incidence of infection in these patients. However, less attention has been given to the systems required to ensure availability of the equipment needed to support these care bundles, say researchers in the UK. Franklin, et al. (2012) sought to assess how reliably the equipment recommended for a peripheral intravenous care bundle was available for use, and to explore factors which contributed to its non-availability.
The researchers studied 350 peripheral cannula insertions in three NHS hospital organizations across the UK. Staff inserting cannulae were asked to report details of all equipment problems. Key staff were then interviewed to identify the causes of problems with equipment availability, using semi-structured qualitative interviews and a standard coding frame.
Forty-seven equipment problems were recorded during 46 of 350 cannulations, corresponding to a reliability of 87 percent, or 94 percent if problems with sharps disposal were excluded. Overall reliability was similar in all three organisations, but the types of problem varied. Interviews revealed a variety of causes including issues associated with purchasing policies, storage facilities, and lack of teamwork and communication in relation to reordering. The many human factors related to the supply chain were highlighted. Often staff had adopted work-arounds to deal with these problems.
The researchers say that varying problems were identified in different organizations, suggesting that each had resolved some issues. They add that supply chain management principles may be useful to support best practice in care bundle delivery. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Reference: Franklin BD, et al. The safe insertion of peripheral intravenous catheters: a mixed methods descriptive study of the availability of the equipment needed. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2012, 1:15 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-15