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  1. Maier, Deborah MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN


Short peripheral catheters (SPCs) are the most frequently used medical devices in hospital settings. Many hospital policies state that SPCs be replaced at 96 hours, which can be unnecessary and costly. A pre-post quality improvement initiative was implemented following complications surrounding removal of timed SPC catheters compared with those removed by clinical indication, using the Visual Infusion Phlebitis (VIP) scale. Data collected included patient demographics, SPC characteristics, nursing time, and product use. SPCs replaced based on clinical indication remained intact longer and had fewer complications than those in the group with routinely replaced SPCs. Decreasing SPC replacements by use of clinical indication resulted in cost savings of $7263.60/unit/month.