Supporting hospital admission avoidance
District Nurse and Community Intravenous therapy (IV) Team Leader, Kate Owen from Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust describes an innovative approach to treating patients who require IV therapy in the community.
When I worked as a district nursing sister I was saddened when patients were admitted to hospital with infected leg ulcers just for intravenous antibiotics. I highlighted this issue to Trust management. As a result, I had the opportunity to review care pathways and lead a team of community nurses to improve patient care.
Through teamwork and dedication, the nurse led community IV therapy team now encompasses five workstreams:
- IV antimicrobial therapy to prevent hospital admissions and to facilitate patients’ early discharge from hospital.
- Oncology/haematology outreach service, enabling patients to receive routine central venous access device care at home or community clinic.
- Artificial hydration to prevent patients being admitted to hospital with dehydration.
- IV iron infusions to correct pre-operative iron deficiency anaemia and optimise patients prior to surgery.
- Administering IV furosemide to prevent patients with diagnosed heart failure being admitted to hospital.
Providing IV therapy in the community is an excellent way to avoid hospital admissions and facilitate a patient’s early discharge, thus allowing them to continue with their every day activities whilst receiving treatment.