BURLEY — Cassia Regional Hospital will be one of four Intermountain Healthcare facilities to roll out a new standard of care that will remove the needle from blood draws for hospital patients.
Intermountain Healthcare is the first health care system in the nation to implement the new standard of care across all of its hospitals, Director Todd Dunn said.
Intermountain has 22 hospitals, and the device was piloted at two of them: Dixie Regional Hospital and Primary Children’s Hospital.
Dunn, who was responsible for bringing the new technology to Intermountain, said he became aware of the need for a more compassionate way to repeatedly draw blood after his father was hospitalized after a stroke.
Dunn’s father asked him to stay at the hospital overnight to guard the door so no one would come and stick him with needles while he slept.
“It is baffling that in an era of smartphones and space travel, clinicians draw blood by penetrating a vein with a needle — oftentimes in the early morning hours,” Dunn said.
The pilot program used the system for 15,000 blood draws in adults and children and there were no adverse events, only positive feedback from patients and staff.
The needle-free PIVO, developed by Velano Vascular, connects to a peripheral intravenous catheter, commonly used during a patient’s hospital stay. The PIVO allows a nurse to extract blood samples from the IV without sticking the patient with another needle. The single-use device snaps on and off the catheter.
“I’m one of those people who hate getting stuck by a needle,” Michele Pond-Bell, nursing administrator at CRH said.
The system will be more comfortable and safer for the patient and safer for hospital staff, who are always at risk of getting stuck by a needle.
Patients on average receive 10 to 20 needle sticks per stay, she said.
The hospital expects to have the new system in place during the first quarter of 2018.
“Blood draws are critical, common elements in modern medicine, but they cause an unnecessary amount of anxiety, pain and risk due to the use of century-old technology and practice,” said Kim Henrichsen, Intermountain senior vice president and chief nursing executive. “We are thrilled to offer a new standard of care that, over time, will help obviate the need for needles used for hospital blood collection. This commitment to standardizing draws will enhance quality for both patients and practitioners.”
Nationwide, inpatient blood draws are taken 500 million times a year and are used to make more than 70 percent of all medical decisions.
Thirty-percent of hospital patients are considered to have difficult-to-access veins because of age, disease or obesity.
“It will be awesome,” Kassie Darrington, registered nurse at CRH said. “It will save our patients a lot of sticks and make us and them happier.”
Darrington said the PIVO will be especially helpful when caring for children, who are often terrified of needles.
“It will take a little bit of work to get it all implemented because it requires updating all of the equipment,” hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Curtis said. “And training for all of our clinical caregivers.”