The clear increase in demand for PICCs in our institution is directly linked to the advent of outpatient intravenous antibiotic services. In this paper, we assess the impact that the use of PICCs combined with intravenous outpatient treatment may have on cost and hospital bed demand” O’Brien et al (2018).
Peripheral inserted central catheters (PICCs) have increasingly become the mainstay of patients requiring prolonged treatment with antibiotics, transfusions, oncologic IV therapy and total parental nutrition. They may also be used in delivering a number of other medications to patients. In recent years, bed occupancy rates have become hugely pressurized in many hospitals and any potential solutions to free up beds is welcome. Recent introductions of doctor or nurse led intravenous (IV) outpatient based treatment teams has been having a direct effect on early discharge of patients and in some cases avoiding admission completely. The ability to deliver outpatient intravenous treatment is facilitated by the placement of PICCs allowing safe and targeted treatment of patients over a prolonged period of time. We carried out a retrospective study of 2,404 patients referred for PICCs from 2009 to 2015 in a university teaching hospital. There was an exponential increase in the number of PICCs requested from 2011 to 2015 with a 64% increase from 2012 to 2013. The clear increase in demand for PICCs in our institution is directly linked to the advent of outpatient intravenous antibiotic services. In this paper, we assess the impact that the use of PICCs combined with intravenous outpatient treatment may have on cost and hospital bed demand. We advocate that a more widespread implementation of this service throughout Ireland may result in significant cost savings as well as decreasing the number of patients on hospital trollies.
O’Brien, C., McMorrow, J., O’Dwyer, E., Govender, P. and Torreggiani, W.C. (2018) Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (PICCs) and Potential Cost Savings and Shortened Bed Stays In an Acute Hospital Setting. Irish Medical Journal. 111(1), p.670.