MED/SURG

The staffing level on medical-surgical units is often one nurse to five or six patients, and can be as high as one nurse for every eight patients. In addition, a 36-Hospital Time and Motion Study on how Med/Surg nurses spend their time found that nurses spent only 7.2% or 31 minutes of nursing practice time over a 13-hour shift (in case of overtime from the typical 12-hour shift) focused on patient assessment and reading vital signs.1

IV assessment is a critical component of care, especially since recent medical reports indicate that IVs fail about 50% of the time, with 23% of those failing due to infiltrations or extravasations.2 A patient’s IV is the source of delivery for fluids, medications and pain control, and if the IV is infiltrated it represents a medication dosing and drug delivery error and potential physical harm to the patient. Infiltration events can directly impact on the length of stay, patient outcome and an increase in hospital expenses, not to mention the increase of patient harm. Between the high nurse-to-patient ratio, use of UAPs and the acutely ill nature of these patients, use of a continuous monitoring device for peripheral IVs on the Med/Surg unit is necessary to minimize potential patient harm.

Because a PIV monitoring device is always watching the peripheral IV site, it gives clinicians a less intrusive alternative to a central line. Particularly when staffing levels are tight, the PIV monitor is a significant improvement in patient safety over a standard, unmonitored PIV. Audible and visual notifications of possible and probable infiltrations reduce the risk of injury to patients, and improves the ability to deliver high quality care while preventing patient harm.

1. Lewis-Voepel, T., Pechlavanidis, E., Burke, C., & Talsma, A. (2012). A nested-case control study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(7), 905–913. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.11.014.

2. Helm, R. E., Klausner, J.D., Klemperer, J.D., Flint, L.M., and Huang, E. . (2015).
Accepted but Unacceptable: Peripheral IV Catheter Failure. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 38(3 ), 189-203

The staffing level on medical-surgical units is often one nurse to five or six patients, and can be as high as one nurse for every eight patients. In addition, a 36-Hospital Time and Motion Study on how Med/Surg nurses spend their time found that nurses spent only 7.2% or 31 minutes of nursing practice time over a 13-hour shift (in case of overtime from the typical 12-hour shift) focused on patient assessment and reading vital signs.1

IV assessment is a critical component of care, especially since recent medical reports indicate that IVs fail about 50% of the time, with 23% of those failures due to infiltrations or extravasations.2 A patient’s IV is the source of delivery for fluids, medications and pain control. If the IV is infiltrated it represents a medication dosing and drug delivery error and potential physical harm to the patient. Infiltration events can have a direct impact on the length of stay, patient outcome and an increase in hospital expenses, not to mention the increase of patient harm. Between the high nurse-to-patient ratio, use of unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) and the acutely ill nature of these patients, use of a continuous monitoring device for peripheral IVs on the Med/Surg unit is necessary to minimize potential patient harm.

Because a PIV monitoring device is always watching the peripheral IV site, it gives clinicians a less intrusive alternative to a central line. Particularly when staffing levels are tight, the PIV monitor is a significant improvement in patient safety over a standard, unmonitored PIV. Audible and visual notifications of possible and probable infiltrations reduce the risk of injury to patients, and improves the ability to deliver high quality care while preventing patient harm.

1. Lewis-Voepel, T., Pechlavanidis, E., Burke, C., & Talsma, A. (2012). A nested-case control study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(7), 905–913. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.11.014.

2. Helm, R. E., Klausner, J.D., Klemperer, J.D., Flint, L.M., and Huang, E. . (2015).
Accepted but Unacceptable: Peripheral IV Catheter Failure. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 38(3 ), 189-203

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