PICC Line Initiative

Since February 2012, the United Hospital Fund has provided grant support and been working with two large health care systems—Montefiore Medical Center and North Shore-LIJ Health System—to address the problem of infections from peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines and other central lines in patients receiving care at home. Despite substantial reductions in similarly acquired infections in acute care facilities, there is growing concern about the incidence of infection in the home care setting.

For many patients, discharge from the hospital to their own homes means living, at least temporarily, with a PICC line, which is used to administer chemotherapy, other medication, or nutrition. Home care staff, patients themselves, or their family caregivers are left responsible for maintaining the lines and preventing infection. Those efforts may be hampered by inadequate protocols and standards, and by educational materials that leave patients and caregivers ill-prepared.

The PICC Line Initiative builds on earlier successes, including the United Hospital Fund/Greater New York Hospital Association Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections Collaborative, which reduced the incidence of one type of dangerous infection at participating hospitals by 54 percent between 2005 and 2008. With Fund grants totaling $140,000, Montefiore Medical Center and North Shore-LIJ Health System are producing a number of key resources with their home care networks. These include a toolkit of forms and educational materials for home care personnel; a surveillance system to capture data those home care staff are trained to collect, to be used collaboratively by health care providers; and educational materials designed for patients and family caregivers.

Project Contact:  Deborah Halper


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