1. Biggar, Constance BSN, RN, CRNI(R), VA-BC
  2. Nichols, Cynthia PhD


Reducing health care costs without adversely affecting patient safety is a constant challenge for health care institutions. Cefazolin prophylaxis via intravenous push (IVP) is more cost-effective than via intravenous piggyback (IVPB). The purpose of this study was to determine whether patient safety would be compromised (ie, an increased rate of phlebitis) with a change to the IVP method. Rates of phlebitis in orthopedic surgical patients receiving cefazolin prophylaxis via IVP versus IVPB were evaluated in a prospective quasi-experimental design of 240 patients. The first 120 subjects received cefazolin via IVPB, and the second 120 subjects received it via IVP. Results indicated no statistically significant difference in phlebitis rates in the IVPB (3.4%) versus the IVP groups (3.3%).