Vein visualization technology has been around for at least a decade, bringing sight to a previously blind procedure. Vein visualization allows the clinician to map the vasculature making it easier to assess and find a suitable vein for IV access or blood draw.
Though vein visualization technology can be very helpful in reducing the number of sticks needed to access a vein, the technology had been new and its adoption as part of the standard of care had not been widespread. Recently large-scale adoption of vein visualization is becoming much more common as facilities are experiencing the benefits of vein visualization technology. The Infusion Nurse Standards of Practice, which define and develop organizational infusion-based policies and procedures for use in medical facilities, has referred to the use of vein visualization technology in the past, stating in 2011 that, “the nurse should consider using visualization technologies that aid in vein identification and selection.”
In 2013 the INS convened a task force of infusion therapy experts to develop recommendations to improve health care practitioner and patient safety and they made stronger vein visualization recommendations than they had previously. The findings of this task force include their recommendation to, “incorporate vein visualization technology as a routine strategy for patients with poor or difficult venous access.” They go on to state that, “visualization technology can improve success rates, decrease unsuccessful insertion attempts and improve patient satisfaction.”
These comprehensive findings are included in a position paper that was published in the March/April 2014 Journal of Infusion Nursing. The paper, “Recommendation for Improving Safety Practices With Short Peripheral Catheters” can be purchased here.
This recommendation should continue to bring vein visualization technology into the mainstream, increasing the availability of vein visualization technology, and improving the standard of care.