Intravenous literature: Lee, P. (2010) A team approach to identify and manage risk in infusion therapy. British Journal of Nursing. 19(5), Supp: S12 – S18.
Infusion therapy has developed significantly in recent years, and many infusion devices and systems are now in use in clinical practice. Errors associated with administering intravenous infusions can cause serious harm to patients, and a lack of standardization of infusion devices, among other factors, can increase the risk of these occurring. Following an audit investigating infusions in one acute NHS trust, a multidisciplinary group was formed to address the need for device replacement and standardization. This article describes this process and the implementation of the group’s 5-year plan. This plan was implemented between 2004 and 2009, and significantly reduced organizational risk, harm to patients and exposure to unnecessary clinical risk. A variety of purchasing models were used including administration set/consumable deals, cash injections and capital replacement programmes. The organization successfully reduced the variety of infusion device from over 31 device types to just eight types during this period.