Did the introduction of a dedicated IV Team reduce infections and make a VAST difference?

Ms Joanna Coats1

1Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Adelaide, Australia


IV devices place patients at risk of  blood stream infections (BSI) associated with high morbidity and mortality, increased length of stay and financial burden. We had an unacceptably high rate of HCA Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia associated to peripheral IV lines . It has been recognised that an IV Team can lead to a reduction in HCA BSI with published literature supporting this intervention. By providing an expert team and improving current IV insertion practices each episode of HCA BSI may be prevented.


In May 2018 we introduced “VAST” the vascular access surveillance team to implement a bundle approach of best practice with IV lines and provide an expert patient centred consultancy service.

We introduced practice change improvements with line insertion; by using sterile gloves and a dressing pack, established 5 key performance indicators for daily patient rounding; (need, insertion date on site, dwell time <72 hours, extension present and signs of infection)  provided real time interventions and feedback and education to staff and patients.


Our SAB rate decreased 58%.There were no peripheral IV BSI during the 6 month VAST initiative. Over 5300 patient reviews resulted in over 1200 interventions on “near misses” of non-performance with established KPI’s. Improved practice was established and consumer confidence enhanced.


Our dedicated “team” did reduce peripheral line BSIs and improve patient outcomes. Providing real time assessment, feedback and training allows for a collaborative approach to succeed and sustains a culture of patient/provider safety.


I have 20 years’ experience in acute care nursing and I began nursing in Cardio-thoracic ICU. I was given the opportunity to implement an infection control project at  a children’s hospital and  thus began a passion for infection control.

I have led the implementation of multiple quality improvement projects  with 2 teams winning state health awards.

I hold further qualifications in ICU nursing, infection control and project management.

Areas of interest include infection reduction strategies, emerging disease management,  device management and education.

Most recently led the introduction of a hospital wide  IV Team.

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