Health care technologies play an important role in not only ensuring better outcomes for patients but also making the work of practitioners easier and impactful. One of the recent technologies is the Peripherally Inserted Central Venous Catheter (PICC), which offers a new approach to providing intravenous access. As an alternative to central venous catheters, PICC can be used for a prolonged period. According to Oakley, Wright, and Ream (2000), the technology is gaining popularity and usage in ambulatory chemotherapy treatments and in patients who require repeated cannulation and venepuncture. As it will be discussed, although the adoption of the technology has had a significant positive impact on the nursing practice, it also faces several barriers that need to be proactively addressed to tap its full potential.
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Firstly, other existing central venous catheters are associated with numerous challenges, including infections among other higher risks as compared to PICC. Meineri (2015) asserts that since the PICC can be inserted into the body for up to six months, it is highly recommendable for long-term conditions that require a central venous catheter.
Further, the author argues that another major advantage of the PICC is that unlike other central venous catheters, which require insertion in a theater, well-qualified nurses can do the former on an outpatient basis, thus reducing or eliminating the need for overnight stay. Further, strengths such as the lower risk of infections and the fact that it can stay for long without requiring replacement offer clients a reprieve and reduced risk of complications, thus increasing the positive outcomes of their health care regimen.
Despite the above advantages of PICC, there are several barriers to its widespread adoption in the healthcare sector. The first barrier to its adoption revolves around the risks that are associated with the technology. According to Oakley et al., (2000), the PICC is associated with the inflammation of the vein and the blockage of the line. Further, infection along the line, though rare, is another area of complication that has hindered its adoption.
Another barrier is the need for trained nurses to insert the PICC. In this case, many hospitals lack individuals who are trained in technology, a situation that affects their adoption (Meineri, 2015). Additionally, evidence on its negative effects, as well as its cost-effectiveness, is very limited. As such, healthcare facilities are reluctant or lack adequate information to decide on the adoption of technology.
For the effective adoption of technology, several measures should be undertaken. Firstly, there is a need to undertake more research and studies on the effects and benefits of the technology relative to others (Meineri, 2015). Additionally, it is pivotal to examine the cost-effectiveness of the technology to help healthcare organizations to make informed decisions concerning its adoption (Meineri, 2015). Lastly, it is imperative to promote the training of more personnel who can champion the adoption of technology in healthcare facilities.
In conclusion, PICC offers a new approach to intravenous access, which is considered less invasive and with fewer risks of infections compared to other central intravenous access technologies. Unlike other technologies, PICC can stay for up to six months with a reduced risk of infections on the patient. However, its adoption is hindered by the limited information on its negative impacts, as well as its economic effectiveness. To address the barriers, there is a need to increase the training of personnel, including undertaking more research on the technology to enhance evidence-based information that can guide its adoption in the nursing field.
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Meineri, M. (2015). Peripherally inserted central venous catheters. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 62(5), 560-568. Web.
Oakley, C., Wright, E., & Ream, E. (2000). The experiences of patients and nurses with a nurse-led peripherally inserted central venous catheter line service. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 4(4), 207-218. Web.