Intravenous literature: Caguioa, J., Pilpil, F., Greensitt, C. and Carnan, D. (2012) HANDS: standardised intravascular practice based on evidence. British Journal of Nursing. 21(14), supplement p.S4 – S11.
Observed and audited variability in the insertion and care of vascular access devices (VADs), despite national guidance, led an intravascular (IV) team to develop seven basic standards under the mnemonic of HANDS. This initiative combined the Saving Lives guidance (Department of Health, 2007) with IV care bundles to reinforce best practice. The main reasons for the project were to decrease bacteraemia rates related to IV devices and to improve practice. The strategy of strengthening care bundling – Project HANDS – with a targeted education programme was adopted to ensure IV practice was consistent and evidence based. This project took a novel approach that evaluated the application of infection control measures, using IV device care as a tool to influence organisational change. This resulted in quality improvements and better patient outcomes. Further actions include disseminating the learning from this project to healthcare partners and in the community.