An Inside View: Get a Summary of the 2021 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice

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Do you work in infusion therapy? If so, you want to keep updated on the most recent information available to provide the best care for your patients. 3M partnered with Lisa Gorski, MS, RN, HHCNS-BC, CRNI®, FAAN, chairperson of the INS Standards Committee, to provide a quick overview of the latest standards and recommendations.

You can now access the 2021 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice1 published by the Infusion Nurses Society (INS). New INS standards are published every five years to promote consistency in-patient care for clinicians and caretakers who specialize in the practice of infusion therapy.

A look inside the standards

The 2021 publication includes 66 standards divided into nine sections. It contains two new standards and has renamed or revised several others. A global committee worked for two years analyzing articles and studies related to patient infusion needs. They then reviewed the revised standards with researchers in 14 countries and gathered input to develop and finalize the new standards and recommendations. The two new standards are:

  • Aseptic Non-Touch Technique
  • Catheter-Associated Skin Injury – one of the topics for an upcoming webinar (see below for details)

A summary of changes

The following section summarizes some key changes to the standards:

    • Standard 3: Scope of Practice – Addresses roles and competencies for clinicians involved with an infusion or vascular access and provides practice recommendations. View pg. S15 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 4: Organization of Infusion and Vascular Services – Addresses interprofessional collaboration, team structure, and the need to follow applicable regulations in each country. View pg. S23 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 5: Competency and Competency Assessment – Sets standards for initial competency for newly hired clinicians, clinicians moving into the new roles, expansion of practice and new products, and ongoing competency assessments driven by outcomes. View pg. S26 for complete guidance.
    • *New* Standard 18: Aseptic Non-Touch Technique: A major change in the 2021 version is the addition of the aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT®) and the incorporation of these techniques throughout other standards. This technique is applied to all infusion-related procedures, including vascular and other infusion access device insertion and management, and administration of infusion medications and solutions, as a critical aspect of infection prevention. View pg. S56 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 20: Compounding and Preparation of Parenteral Solutions and Medications – provides practice recommendations for administering medications that have been compounded in a pharmacy and adhering to safe injection practices. View pg. S59 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 22: Vascular Visualization – provides standards to increase insertion success and practice recommendations for near-infrared and ultrasound. View pg. S63 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 26: Vascular Access Device (VAD) Planning – provides a new recommendation: Do not insert a PIVC or midline as a central line-associated bloodstream infection prevention strategy. View pg. S74 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 27: Site Selection – A new recommendation: Do not use visible veins of the chest, breast, abdomen, or other locations on the trunk of the body as there is no evidence supporting their safe outcomes. View pg. S81 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 32: Pain Management for Venipuncture and Vascular Access Procedures – provides strategies and recommendations to reduce pain associated with venipuncture and VAD-related procedures. View pg. S94 for complete guidance.
    • Standard 34: VAD Placement: Short PIVCs – New recommendation: After two unsuccessful attempts, escalate to a clinician with a higher skill level and/or consider alternate routes of administration. Also, use a standard of ANTT for PIVC insertion. View pg. S97 for complete guidance.

Sign up for the webinar

Lisa Gorski, the chairperson of the INS Standards Committee, is hosting a free educational webinar explaining the new and revised standards and recommendations.

Register here to attend the live event on February 23.

Registration is also open for an additional webinar with Lisa Gorski focused on vascular access device care and management standards to be held on March 2nd.
1. Gorski LA, Hadaway L, Hagle ME, et al. Infusion therapy standards of practice. J Infus Nurs. 2021;44(suppl 1): S1-S224. doi:10.1097/NAN.0000000000000396

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