Association of Infectious Disease Physician Approval of Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter With Appropriateness and Complications

JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Oct 1;3(10):e2017659. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17659.


Importance: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are frequently used to deliver intravenous antimicrobial therapy. However, inappropriate PICC use may lead to patient harm.

Objective: To evaluate whether infectious disease physician approval prior to PICC placement for intravenous antimicrobials is associated with more appropriate device use and fewer complications.

Design, setting, and participants: This cohort study of 21 653 PICCs placed for a primary indication of intravenous antimicrobial therapy between January 1, 2015, and July 26, 2019, was conducted in 42 hospitals participating in a quality collaborative across Michigan among hospitalized medical patients.

Main outcomes and measures: Appropriateness of PICCs was defined according to the Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters as a composite measure of (1) single-lumen catheter use, (2) avoiding use of PICCs for 5 days or less, and (3) avoiding use of PICCs for patients with chronic kidney disease (defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate <45 mL/min/1.73 m2). Complications related to PICCs included catheter occlusion, deep vein thrombosis, and central line-associated bloodstream infection. The association between infectious disease physician approval, device appropriateness, and catheter complications was assessed using multivariable models, adjusted for patient comorbidities and hospital clustering. Results were expressed as odds ratios with 95% CIs.

Results: A total of 21 653 PICCs were placed for intravenous antimicrobials (11 960 PICCs were placed in men [55.2%]; median age, 64.5 years [interquartile range, 53.4-75.4 years]); 10 238 PICCs (47.3%) were approved by an infectious disease physician prior to placement. Compared with PICCs with no documented approval, PICCs with approval by an infectious disease physician were more likely to be appropriately used (72.7% [7446 of 10 238] appropriate with approval vs 45.4% [5180 of 11 415] appropriate without approval; odds ratio, 3.53; 95% CI, 3.29-3.79; P < .001). Furthermore, approval was associated with lower odds of a PICC-related complication (6.5% [665 of 10 238] with approval vs 11.3% [1292 of 11 415] without approval; odds ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.50-0.61).

Conclusions and relevance: This cohort study suggests that, when PICCs were placed for intravenous antimicrobial therapy, infectious disease physician approval of PICC insertion was associated with more appropriate device use and fewer complications. Policies aimed at ensuring infectious disease physician approval prior to PICC placement for antimicrobials may improve patient safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / standards*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Communicable Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prior Authorization / standards*
  • Prior Authorization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors