Needle Free Blood Draws Possible During Hospital Stays

One uncomfortable part to a hospital stay has been the constant needle pokes. Intermountain Healthcare has found a way to reduce the anxiety and risks with a new needle free clinical practice.

Intermountain is adopting this needle free technology from San Francisco-based Velano Vascular called PIVO™.  PIVO connects to an indwelling peripheral IV catheter, commonly used in hospitalized patients, and enables practitioners to extract blood from the vein. Following more than two years of clinical collaboration, the system will begin its rollout immediately.

This is all part of Intermountain’s commitment to transform healthcare by serving its patients with cutting-edge, high quality care. Intermountain is the first health system in the U.S. to embark on a commitment to provide more humane inpatient blood draws across its 22 hospitals. This bold move will establish a new national standard for patient and practitioner-centered care and quality.

“Blood draws are critical, common elements in modern medicine, but they cause an unnecessary amount of anxiety, pain and risk due to the use of century-old technology and practice,” said Kim Henrichsen, Intermountain senior vice president and chief nursing executive. “We are thrilled to offer a new standard of care that, over time, will help obviate the need for needles used for hospital blood collection. This commitment to standardizing draws will enhance quality for both patients and practitioners.”

Inpatient blood draws occur nearly 500 million times a year in the U.S. and inform more than 70 percent of all medical decisions. At the same time, 30 percent of the U.S. hospital patient population are considered Difficult Venous Access due to obesity, age and disease, making it even more challenging to collect blood samples.

“It is baffling that in an era of smartphones and space travel, clinicians draw blood by penetrating a vein with a needle – oftentimes in the early morning hours,” said Todd Dunn, Director of Innovation in Intermountain’s Transformation Lab. “Through our Design for People program, we resolved to find a better way for our phlebotomists and nurses to more humanely and consistently draw blood. Following 15,000 PIVO draws on adults and children with no adverse events and overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients and caregivers alike, it is clear that we are together establishing a new standard of care.”

You can find more about Intermountain’s research efforts in the Transforming Healthcare website.