2021 INS Standards Adopt Aseptic Non Touch Technique to Improve Patient Safety

UltraDrape dressing helps clinicians adhere to ANTT principles during ultrasound-guided peripheral IV insertions

FAIRFIELD, N.J., April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Infusion Nurses Society has included the international Aseptic Non Touch Technique (ANTT®) framework as a dedicated standard in its recently published 2021 Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice. According to Parker Laboratories, this standardized approach for application of aseptic practices during vascular access procedures will reduce variability and improve patient safety, particularly when visualization technology like ultrasound is required to facilitate catheter placement.

"The inclusion of ANTT shows that INS recognizes this approach to aseptic technique should be the basis for all clinical education regarding intravenous devices," said Neal Buchalter, president of Parker Laboratories, a worldwide leader in ultrasound products for more than 60 years. "As a company, we share this commitment. It's reflected in our development of products that make it easier for clinicians to adhere to proper aseptic technique, as well as partnerships with clinical leaders to raise awareness about the importance of ANTT."

Parker Laboratories manufactures the UltraDrape™ Barrier and Securement Dressing, the first dressing designed specifically for use during ultrasound-guided peripheral IV (UGPIV) insertions. The company is currently sponsoring a continuing education course from PICC Excellence on the basics of ANTT. ANTT: Key Concepts (1 CE credit) will be available to clinicians for free until June 30, 2021.

Read Back to the Basics with ANTT Best Practices by Nancy Moureau, RN, PhD in the latest issue of Healthcare Hygiene Magazine.

ANTT is a unique, standardized approach to aseptic practice that has been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidence of healthcare acquired infections. The ANTT Clinical Practice Framework teaches clinicians a uniform process for infection prevention and is designed for use with all invasive procedures—from simple dressing changes to the insertion of vascular access devices, and even major surgery.

"Aseptic technique is a critical clinical competency, and yet for so long there was not a universal, standardized way to apply it, or even teach it. This led to a lot of ambiguity and variability in clinical practice, which ultimately places patients at a greater risk of infection," said Stephen Rowley, MSc, BSc, RGN, RSCN, Clinical Director of the Association for Safe Aseptic Practice (ASAP) and co-author of the 2021 INS Standards.

"It's not that ANTT is a radically different technique; what it does is better explain the principles, rules and process making it easier for clinicians to implement them into clinical practice more effectively," Rowley added. "For such an important clinical competency, the benefits of having a single standard framework—and especially a common practice language used internationally— are perhaps as profound as they are obvious."

Rowley, who developed the ANTT Practice Framework in the mid-1990s, believes its inclusion in the INS Standards will "encourage an even broader adoption of ANTT and ultimately help improve the safety of all invasive medical procedures."

The updated INS Standards also support the use of visualization technology to increase vascular access insertion success. For instance, ultrasound guidance is recommended for peripheral IV insertions in adults with difficult vascular access. This recommendation is supported by Level I evidence showing fewer insertion attempts and less reliance on more invasive central vascular access devices.

Despite its benefits, the use of visualization technology may also carry some patient safety risks. For peripheral IVs, the presence of the ultrasound probe and gel at the sterile insertion site can lead to an increased risk of contamination if clinicians do not follow safety guidelines for the use of appropriate supplies (i.e. gel and probe protection). Proper aseptic technique is critical to reducing contamination that leads to a greater risk of infection during UGPIV procedures.

To mitigate risks like these, the INS Standards recommend making ANTT awareness a key part of assessing clinician competency in the use of visualization technology for inserting vascular access devices.

Unfortunately, research indicates that relatively few healthcare facilities in the United States have established a standardized process for maintaining ANTT during UGPIV procedures, according to Nancy Moureau, RN, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in vascular access and CEO of PICC Excellence. A survey of vascular access and emergency department clinicians revealed significant levels of variation in UGPIV procedures and application of proper aseptic technique, even between departments within the same hospital.

To standardize UGPIV practices, Dr. Moureau recommends the use of sterile protection products like the UltraDrape™ barrier dressing. This sterile barrier dressing facilitates aseptic technique for UGPIV insertions by separating the ultrasound probe and gel from the skin, resulting in a safer, gel-free insertion.

"To increase adoption and standardization, ANTT and the procedure of UGPIV must be efficient, safe and cost-effective, and that is precisely what the UltraDrape dressing achieves," said Dr. Moureau. "By separating the gel and probe from the insertion site, UltraDrape standardizes the procedure in a way that makes it easier for clinicians to adhere to the principles of ANTT. This also eliminates the time-consuming post-procedure clean up, making UGPIV procedures safer, faster and less expensive."

As INS's most recognized publication, the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice are revised and released every five years to provide clinicians with an evidence-based framework to develop infusion-based policies and procedures for all practice settings. A summary of the key changes in the 2021 Standards can be found here.

About Parker Laboratories

Parker Laboratories is a leading global medical products company that develops, manufactures and sells ultrasound and electromedical contact media, as well as leading lines of institutional cleaner and disinfectants. A worldwide leader in ultrasound medical products for the past 60 years, Parker Laboratories has been consistently at the forefront of technological advances in the industry. Its flagship product, Aquasonic® 100 Ultrasound Transmission Gel, is the world standard for medical ultrasound.

UltraDrape™ UGPIV Barrier and Securement is available through medical supply distributors or by contacting Parker Laboratories at (973) 276-9500 or visiting parkerlabs.com.

Contact: Liz Dowling
Dowling & Dennis PR

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SOURCE Parker Laboratories

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