Low Bloodstream Infection Rates and Cost-Effective, Nurse-Led, Bedside PICC insertions across the Sunshine Coast Health Service

Mr Reto Federi1Mrs Leanne Ruegg1

1Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Buderim, QLD, Australia


The Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) which opened in early 2017 is a 450-bed tertiary hospital in Regional Queensland in Australia. A unique service model was adopted to provide a nurse-led Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) insertion service at the patients’ bedside. The service was established to deliver cost effective and timely PICC insertions at SCUH and three low acuity facilities (Nambour, Maleny and Gympie Hospital) which serves an area of 1,633 km2 and a population of 347,000. The impetus to run such a service was established to deliver patient-centred and prompt PICC insertions in all four facilities. Disruptive and time-consuming transports within the facility or the inconvenience of sending patients for the procedure to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital has been avoided.

However, nurse-led PICC insertions at the bedside are not common practice in Queensland and perhaps most Australian hospitals. The lack of data on complications such as insertion and post-insertion bloodstream infection (BSI) rates may be a reason for scepticism towards bedside PICC insertions. Our team used integrated magnetic tracking and ECG-based PICC tip confirmation technology to insert over 700 PICCs in 2017 which resulted in over 12,000 catheter days. Our positive results showed no insertion related BSIs in our inpatient and non-inpatient population.

This presentation explores the economic benefits of providing bedside PICC insertions and the potentially low BSI risk associated with beside PICC insertions which may provide a feasible alternative to other health care facilities that may be interested in implementing a similar service.


Reto was born in Switzerland and migrated to Australia in 2005. He graduated as a nurse in 1995 and is now a Clinical Nurse who works for the Vascular Access Surveillance and Education team which runs a Nurse-Led, Bedside PICC insertion service at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. It was there where he was trained as a PICC inserter in early 2017. Prior to that, Reto was a team member of the Vascular Access Surveillance Team (VAST) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he gained an understanding about relevance of surveillance and infection prevention in relation to Vascular Access Devices. The opportunity to enjoy a surfing lifestyle combined with the ability to become a PICC inserter drew Reto to the Sunshine Coast.

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