Delay in vascular access is a leading cause of procedure delay in our pediatric procedure and infusion center. Use of ultrasound decreases time to peripheral intravenous catheter (PIV) insertion; however, ultrasound availability in our center was limited to an external venous access team (VAT). The objective of this project was to reduce PIV-related delays by 25%.


Stakeholders convened and theorized that creating a unit-based nurse team specializing in ultrasound-guided peripheral intravenous catheter (USgPIV) insertion would facilitate faster access and a reduction in delayed procedures. An initial plan-do-study-act cycle was performed, training 2 nurses in USgPIV placement. Subsequent cycles were focused on increasing availability of USgPIV-trained nurses. The outcome measure was the rate of procedures delayed by PIV placement, analyzed on a statistical process control U-chart. The process measure was the percentage of USgPIV placements requiring consultations to the VAT, analyzed on a statistical process control P-chart. The balancing measure was the success rate per method of insertion. Comparisons of success rates were conducted by using a χ2 test and Fisher’s exact test.


The mean rate of procedures delayed because of vascular access fell by special cause variation from 10.8% to 6.4%. The mean VAT consultation rate fell from 86.4% to 32.0%. The VAT had higher rates of overall success (100% vs 87%; P = .01) and first-attempt success (93% vs 77%; P = .03) compared with unit nurse USgPIV placement.


Unit-based USgPIV placement in a pediatric procedural center was successfully implemented, with a significant decline in procedures delayed by PIV access.

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