Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are commonly used to access the central venous system. However, central vascular access devices are associated with a risk of complications, which may include infection, thrombosis, occlusion, or malposition. The vascular access team of 1 midwestern hospital used a quality improvement initiative to reduce the occurrence of complications associated with PICCs. A secondary aim was to reduce the number of alteplase (Cathflo Activase; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) doses administered. After reviewing current evidence, the vascular access team employed the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle to document and implement changes in practice. By using a team initiative to investigate this issue, complication rates decreased and patient satisfaction improved. The thrombosis rate decreased by 67%, occlusions by 75%, and alteplase use by 87%. No infections occurred during this study.
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hutchison, Kansas (Mss Walters and Price).
Beth Walters, BSN, RN, is a charge nurse in the outpatient infusion department at Hutchison Regional Medical Center. She specializes in all types of intravenous (IV) infusions as well as PICC insertion and maintenance. She has been a nurse for 12 years, 5 of those in the infusion department.
Chelsey Price, BSN, RN, is a relief charge nurse in the outpatient infusion department at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. She specializes in all types of IV infusions, as well as PICC insertion and maintenance. She has been a nurse for 11 years, 4 of those in the infusion department.
Corresponding Author: Beth Walters, BSN, RN, Hutchison Regional Medical Center, 1701 East 23rd Avenue, Hutchison, KS 67502 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors of this article have no conflicts of interest to disclose.