#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Walker, G. and Todd, A. (2013) Nurse-led PICC insertion: is it cost effective? British Journal of Nursing. 22(19), Supplement, p.S9-S15.
Aims: Repeated attempts to cannulate small veins can cause considerable distress for patients and expend substantial staff time. For longer term venous access, a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) may be used instead of a peripheral cannula. Previous studies indicate that insertion of a PICC costs three times more than a cannula but the lifespan is substantially longer. This study aimed to compare insertion cost, patient satisfaction, and infection rates of PICCs for the two main staff groups (trained nurses and radiologists) inserting these devices in a district general hospital.
Materials and Methods: The study took place over 4 months in 2012-13. A questionnaire was attached to all identified PICCs in stock at Raigmore Hospital to collect details of the date of insertion, patient involved, time taken, attendant staff grade and experience level, consumables used and insertion success. The lead author’s personal observation of PICC insertion by different staff groups allowed estimation of staff time, costs and success rates. Patient experience and satisfaction was assessed before and after insertion using a patient questionnaire. PICC longevity, infection rates and failures were assessed by review of patient notes.
Results: The radiologist group had a statistically significant (p< 0.01) increased cost (42%) over the nurse group. Patient satisfaction regarding explanation of treatment before insertion was higher in the nurse group. Insertion success and infection rates were higher in the radiologist group.
Conclusion: The authors conclude that the majority of PICCs can be safely performed without x-ray screening in a ward-based environment. This is likely to be the most cost-effective solution for large volume services.