An Inside Look at the INS 2021 Virtual Education Conference

I had the opportunity of attending the Infusion Nurse Society “Resetting the Standards: Examining the 2021 Changes” Virtual Education Conference from February 19 and 20, 2021, and let me tell you…it was awesome!  So many advances have been made in the last 5 years in the field of infusion care for our patients.

You may be wondering: how are these official “Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice” Guidelines created?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  A panel of industry experts and reviewers, mostly comprised of nurses, scour, and absorb all new clinical data relevant to infusion care.  Published every 5 years, each Guideline edition reflects new scientific research affiliated in this field of medicine. Anything from securement devices, technology, infection control, and technique are reflected in their publication. Their job is to inform the global medical community of what is new, and what is the BEST PRACTICE to execute in our respective healthcare settings. Over 2,500+ studies and references were reviewed to create the latest 2021 Standards of Care. Meaning hospitals and medical facilities have an opportunity to “be better” and change outdated clinical practices.

Although INS is a US-based organization, 30% of this year’s reviewers were from outside the US. This reflects the influence INS Guidelines have on our global environments, regardless of region.  The INS is represented across the world through local chapters in various countries, and have collaborated in hospitals found in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates, to name a few.

By partnering on a global stage, the INS, through their Guidelines, have driven down CLABSIs (Central Line Acquired Blood Stream Infections) by 7% since last publishing in 2016.  Considering over 1 billion IV’s are done in the United States alone, this is a massive accomplishment given the shear volumes of needles used.

Some fun facts I learned during this Educational Conference:

  • 20-24% of all PIV’s will result in an infiltration (WOW!- not good)
  • We are fighting a 50% catheter failure rate on PIV’s (WOW!- also NOT good)
  • Females are more susceptible to phlebitis (bummer for us women)
  • Efforts are being made to “pay more attention” to the complications and infection rates of peripheral IV’s, rather than central lines, as has been the trend in the past.  The term CABSI (Catheter Associated Blood Stream Infections) has been created to reflect ALL infections associated with any time of line.

Of course, this inside look would not be complete without me expressing excitement over Section 22 of the Guidelines: Vascular Visualization and our near-infrared technology! Specifically (and I quote):

Use near infrared (nIR) light technology to aid in locating viable superficial peripheral venous sites and decreasing procedure time for peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) insertion.

Use nIR light technology to assess peripheral venous sites and facilitate more informed decisions about vein selection (ie, bifurcating veins, tortuosity of veins, palpable but nonvisible veins, location of venous valves). The use of nIR technology has been associated with enhanced first-time insertion success and decreased procedural time compared to traditional visual assessment and palpation…”

Not only should clinicians use HD imaging devices like VeinViewer® to locate veins, but it should also be used to assess the BEST vein! The VeinViewer® literally tells you what is going on inside the patient’s body when it comes to vein selection and contributes to vein preservation, which is our ultimate goal.

In my humble opinion, there are no more excuses to avoid using VeinViewer® to aid in IV access and phlebotomy. As clinicians, we have a proven technology to inflict less pain, and make our lives easier in delivering stellar patient care.  There is no room for antiquated practices!  To “be better” we all need to embrace change for the sake of humanity.

Check out Part 1 by clicking here!