Vessel health and preservation (Part 1): a new evidence-based approach to vascular access selection and management

J Vasc Access. Jul-Sep 2012;13(3):351-6. doi: 10.5301/jva.5000042.


Vascular access for the infusion of medications and solutions requires timely assessment, planning, insertion, and assessment. Traditional vascular access is reactive, painful, and ineffective, often resulting in the exhaustion of peripheral veins prior to consideration of other access options. Evidence suggests clinical pathways improve outcomes by reducing variations and establishing processes to assess and coordinate care, minimizing fragmentation and cost. Implementation of a vascular access clinical pathway leads to the intentional selection of the best vascular access device for the patient specific to the individual diagnosis, treatment plan, current medical condition, and the patient's vessel health (1). The Vessel Health and Preservation (VHP) programme incorporates evidence-based practices focused on timely, intentional proactive device selection implemented within 24 hours of admission into any acute facility. VHP is an all-inclusive clinical pathway, guiding clinicians from device selection through patient discharge, including daily assessment. Initiation of the VHP programme within a facility provides a systematic pathway to improve vascular access selection and patient care, allowing for the reduction of variations and roadblocks in care while increasing positive patient outcomes and satisfaction. Patient safety and preservation of vessel health is the ultimate goal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / instrumentation*
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Central Venous Catheters*
  • Critical Pathways*
  • Equipment Design
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient Selection
  • Program Development
  • Treatment Outcome