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Improving IV placement for patients

Ludy Aquino-Lasam, Assistant Nurse Manager

At Duke Health, we support team members to explore new ways to advance health together. So, when two Duke Health nurses, Penni Dameron and Ludy Lasam, became concerned about failed placement of ultrasound guided IVs, they were inspired to find a better, more reliable way to ensure successful IV setups.

Penni Dameron, Clinical Nurse II

Duke is always supportive of team members and their pursuit to improve their practice and to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients.

Penni Dameron

Clinical Nurse II, Vascular Access Specialty TeamWith Duke since 1999

Researching new technologies

Setting up IVs for patients is a standard practice for many nurses. From fluid drips to blood draws, there are countless reasons a patient might need an IV. The insertion process can be tricky at times, though, and any missteps could create discomfort for patients. Penni and Ludy began tracking all attempts and failures for IV placements for patients requiring a chest CT scan with contrast. 

With a culture of support behind them, Penni and Ludy were able to tap into the Duke Health resources needed to bring a vision of innovative IV placement to life.

The first step in introducing and testing new IVs was examining all of the latest technology available on the market. After looking closely at the options and research available, they narrowed it down to one replacement – AccuCath.

Penni Dameron, Clinical Nurse II

I reached out to our vendors and was given a few options. After presenting the data and reviewing the evidence-based practice, we went with the AccuCath.

Penni Dameron

Clinical Nurse II, Vascular Access Specialty TeamWith Duke since 1999

There are a few notable differences between the standard catheter and the new AccuCath catheter. It is both longer and sturdier than the previous version, plus it comes with a guide wire. These factors make insertion easier for even the most challenging IV placements.

Once they discovered the AccuCath, Penni and Ludy needed to prove it was the best solution. To do this, they went through a two-year research and experimentation phase.

Ludy Aquino-Lasam, Assistant Nurse Manager

If you want change, be patient, curious, and persistent.

Ludy Aquino-Lasam

Assistant Nurse Manager, Duke Regional HospitalWith Duke since 1998

Implementing the best solution

After taking the time to ensure that the AccuCath would work for Duke Health patients, it was time to launch a pilot at Duke Regional Hospital. This location is home to the Bariatrics unit, which helps many patients who have difficult IV access.

For the initial rollout of AccuCath, Penni and Ludy organized the training for their fellow team members in collaboration with clinical educators so that everyone would feel confident using the new technology.

Those who attended the trainings were immediately excited to adopt the new catheter. The nurses trialed the AccuCath device at Duke Regional Hospital and found a higher insertion rate with this new device. Their trial data was presented to the Products and Equipment Resource Team and eventually approved for health system-wide adoption.

Trinidad Abe, a certified vascular access nurse, was especially impressed by the change after she noticed that the AccuCath catheters were sustaining much longer – even on patients who struggle with IVs.

Trinidad Abe, Clinical Nurse III, BSN

I am able to help patients receive their treatments in a timely manner and avoid unnecessary sticks.

Trinidad Abe, BSN

Clinical Nurse III,  Duke Regional HospitalWith Duke since 2011

This is just one example of how Duke Health teammates are improving care by advocating on behalf of patients. Having the ability to personally contribute to excellence in health care is something that embodies the type of rewarding career that can be built here.

But it doesn’t stop at IV placement technology – similar stories can be found in many different departments across Duke Health. Join us and make contributions of your own to delivering tomorrow’s health care today.

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