Decreasing IV Infiltrates in the Pediatric Patient — System-Based Improvement Project
Tracie Wilt Major and Tricia K. Huey
Intravenous infiltrates pose tremendous risk for the hospitalized pediatric patient. Infiltrate events increase hospital-acquired harm, the number of painful procedures, use of supplies, length of stay, and nursing time; it threatens relationships essential in patient- and family-centered care. The goal of this quality improvement project was to achieve a 10% decrease in the baseline infiltrate rate on two inpatient units and in the overall infiltrate rate across all of the pediatric units. A Lean Six Sigma methodology was used to guide project activities. Improvement strategies focused on evidence-based education, intravenous (IV) catheter securement, and family engagement. A comparative purposive sample was used to evaluate the pre- and post-implementation period to determine if desired project success measures were achieved. Data analysis revealed positive results across all units, with the number of events (n = 51 pre; n = 19 post) and the infiltration rates (13.5 pre; 7.1 post) decreasing over a three-month period. A decrease was also noted in the overall percent of IVs that infiltrated in the first 24 hours (45% pre; 42% post). A statistically significant increase (t = 15.16; p < 0.001) was noted in nursesí education pre- and post-assessment survey scores. The family engagement strategy revealed overall parental responses to be 88% positive. By decreasing infiltrates, quality of care improved, resulting in the delivery of safe, effective, and patient-centered IV therapy.