Reliability and compliance of peripheral intravenous catheter documentation: A prospective observational study.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Vascular Access


OBJECTIVE: Proper documentation of the functionality and complications of peripheral intravenous catheters (PIVC) is the standard of care. This data can improve communication among team members about access concerns and highlight opportunities to improve PIVC care. Our objective is to determine if nursing personnel are compliant with institutional standards for documentation and documentation is reliable.

METHODS: This prospective observational analysis was conducted at a tertiary care academic center with 120,000 ED visits and 1100 hospital beds. Adults over 18 with a PIVC placed in the ED via palpation technique who were being admitted to regular medical/surgical wards were eligible. The primary outcome was compliance with PIVC documentation per institutional standards. Secondary outcomes included compliance subcategorized as insertion, daily assessment, and removal and reliability of assessments.

RESULTS: During July and August 2020, 77 patients were enrolled with a total of 1201 observations of PIVC compliance. PIVC documentation compliance was 86.0% (1033/1201). Compliance on insertion and removal was 93.3% (431/462) and 80.5% (186/231), respectively, with removal assessment being the least compliant at 49.4%. Daily catheter assessments were compliant 81.9% (416/508) of the time. PIVC documentation reliability was based on 693 total observations with 87.9% (609/693) reliability overall, and a reliability of 91.6% (423/462) and 74.9% (173/231) for insertion and removal, respectively. PIVC orientation had the highest reliability (98.7%) while post-removal assessment had the lowest reliability (45.5%).

CONCLUSIONS: We observed moderate documentation compliance and reliability for PIVC assessments for catheters placed in the ED. Documentation of removal-related variables was the most deficient aspect of the assessments. Given the high rate of PIVC failure and its vast array of consequences, improvement of PIVC documentation of removal reasons is essential to better identify type and incidence of complications and help develop targeted solutions. Further larger studies are needed to survey PIVC documentation practices.


Online ahead of print

First Page


Last Page






PubMed ID