Our hypothesis was that creation of a dedicated PICC team would decrease inappropriate PICC placement, overall complication rates, and cost” Pernar et al (2016).
BACKGROUND: Peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) are popular for a broad range of indications. As with other forms of central access, PICC use can be associated with serious and potentially costly complications.
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In 2000, in response to the rising popularity of PICC use, a surgeon-led team was created to steward their placement. All requests were screened rigorously to ensure rational use. Our hypothesis was that creation of a dedicated PICC team would decrease inappropriate PICC placement, overall complication rates, and cost.
METHODS: The study was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data captured in the PICC team-maintained database between 2000 and 2013. The database was reviewed for PICC indications, reasons PICC requests were denied, and septic or thrombotic complications after PICC placement. To estimate cost savings, PICC supplies and each occurrence of blood stream infection (BSI) and thrombotic complication was assigned a cost on the basis of the available literature.
RESULTS: Between 2000 and 2013, 35,651 PICC placements were requested, of which 24,638 (69.1%) were approved, 22,157 (62.1%) immediately and 2,481 (6.9%) after initial refusal in view of further review of the indications. Most (95%) of the PICCs inserted were placed at the bedside within 1 d of approval. Blood stream infections occurred in 5.9% of patients and thrombosis in 2.7%. The attributable costs saved by declining placement of unnecessary PICCs, assuming the same proportions of patients would have developed a complication, could be as high as $5.4 million (M) in supplies, $7.77 M in avoided BSI and $2.25 M in avoided thrombotic complications, for a total savings of $15.44 M.
CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of a surgeon-led PICC team had a significant impact on the placement rate, reducing cost by supplies foregone and complications avoided. Cost savings related to PICC placement alone should be considered as the definite cost savings because of the judicious allocation of resources.
Pernar, L.I., Wolf, L.L., Seshadri, A. and Patel, V. (2016) Impact of a Surgeon-Led Peripherally Inserted Central Venous Catheter Team on Peripherally Inserted Central Venous Catheter-Related Complications and Costs. Surgical Infections. February 22nd. [Epub ahead of print].
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