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Ergonomic Armboard Reduces Injuries, Increases Efficiency

According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, patient safety and satisfaction are within the top five priorities facing hospitals moving forward. According to the Department of Health and Human Services: “The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative that rewards acute-care hospitals with incentive payments for the quality of care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries….

CMS rewards hospitals based on:
  - The quality of care provided to Medicare patients;
  - How closely best clinical practices are followed; and
  - How well hospitals enhance patients’ experiences of care during hospital stays.

Hospitals are no longer paid solely on the quantity of services they provide.”

In 2016 “patient experience of care” is 25% of the weighted applicable domains that determines CMS distribution of incentive payments to hospitals. Since IV therapy is such a common procedure and one that patients consider when completing surveys sent by hospitals, it makes sense to enhance the experience of hospitalized patients.

I.V. House, Inc. has developed the TLC® UltraSplint, a revolutionary armboard that improves patient safety and increases nurse efficiency, which may increase patient satisfaction with their hospital experience. Traditional armboards are flat, opaque, and often require thick bandages or tape that obscure the extremity and/or the IV insertion site. This requires that nurses unwrap and rewrap the extremity during routine IV site checks, leading to increased time and potential agitation or dislodgment of the IV. The TLC UltraSplint is ergonomically designed and padded for patient comfort, it’s unique openings allow for easy visual inspection that can be completed in seconds, and gives nurses greater access to the extremity with the IV in order to compare it to the opposite extremity.

The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) 2016 Journal of Infusion Nursing Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice indicate that the joint stabilization devices should be “padded as needed and supports the area of flexion in order to maintain a functional position.” (Standard 38, B.1) (Armboards are not standard in the adult population. If an IV is positioned on the top of the hand, an armboard to support the wrist may increase the dwell times.)  Traditional armboards are flat and often secured from the fingers to mid-forearm, preventing the patient from being able to use their arm or hand for daily tasks. The TLC UltraSplint is ergonomically designed with a slight bend at the wrist to support the joint and keep the hand in a functional position. The TLC UltraSplint is also padded in order to improve patient comfort while wearing the splint and is designed to allow the wearer to use their hand for feeding themselves, cell phone use, grooming, reading, or participating in other daily activities.

The INS also recommends that IV catheters be assessed minimally at least every four hours, and often every one to two hours for neonatal and pediatric patients, or patients who are critically ill or heavily sedated (Standard 41, C.2). With traditional armboards this means constant unwrapping and re-wrapping of bandages, which takes valuable time. If tape is used to secure the armboard it can cause additional skin impairment. The TLC UltraSplint uses narrow fabric straps that attach the armboard to the extremity using Velcro® tabs, revealing the skin for easier inspection and eliminating the need for excessive taping. It’s also designed with see-through openings in the splint, allowing nurses to Touch, Look and Compare the extremity with the IV site with the opposite extremity in seconds vs. minutes with traditional armboards. Allowing greater access to the IV helps nurses identify warning signs early, reducing the incidence of complications like redness, swelling, warmth, infiltration, extravasation, leaking IV fluid, accidental dislodgment and palmar infiltrates.

The newly redesigned TLC UltraSplint with its ergonomic design, ample padding, and non-adhesive straps provide patients with greater comfort. The strap securement system, and openings allow nurses to spend less time unwrapping and rewrapping armboards, and more time on more important caregiving tasks. The TLC UltraSplint was designed and refined through real-life nurse feedback to to provide greater access to the IV site, improving the caregiver’s ability to identify complications early. Reduction in complications lead to longer IV dwell times and fewer IV restarts. Patient testimonials support that use of I.V. House products improve comfort and increase patient satisfaction with the IV infusion process.


“There was no pain at any time, all tubes were accessible, non-moving, non-kinking and and well protected. The IV site did not get sore and when the I.V House UltraDressing got whapped it was like nothing happened at all. Not even one part of the system moved. Usually, that kind of incident will be very painful and may even necessitate a new IV installation.” - Ian from North Carolina

I.V. House CEO, Lisa Vallino remains committed to creating products that improve patient safety and nurse efficiency. “We looked at traditional armboards and recognized there were injuries occurring that can be avoided,” she explained. “The new TLC UltraSplint makes touching and comparing the underside of the extremity easy with completely see-through openings. This product also delivers a vast amount of support and comfort for the patient due to the ergonomic and tape free design and the soft foam padding.”

Pedagogy Guest Blog by I.V. House

To learn more, visit http://www.ivhouse.com/
Posted: 7/20/2016 7:00:00 AM
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