Spanish vascular access team refines device selection algorithm

The Vall D’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain treats over 1.2 million patients per year, with 1,100 beds and a team of more than 3,400 nursing professionals. In 2017, the hospital created its first vascular access team (VAT). 

Eva Carnicero Viñals, PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) instructor, IV Therapy Expert and Nurse at the Vall D’Hebron Hospital, discussed the impact her nursing-led VAT has had on the hospital’s vascular access device selection process at the 2023 Multidisciplinary Advanced Course on Vascular Access (MACOV@23). 

Why start a nursing-led vascular access team?

“The team was created with the aim of unifying criteria for indication, maintenance and replacement of catheters by means of evidence-based recommendations,” said Miss Viñals. 

Since its inception, the VAT at the Vall D’Hebron Hospital has aimed to:  

  • Increase adherence to good practices 
  • Reduce adverse events associated with vascular access 
  • Lead management of vascular access 
  • Replace materials and techniques related to vascular access 
  • Be a cost-efficient team 

“We don’t just want to be an implant [placement] team, but also a consulting team,” clarified Miss Viñals. Her VAT stays up to date with the latest research and evidence around new procedures, materials and techniques to provide the latest vascular access guidelines to hospital care teams. 

More on this topic: Development of a vascular access team: One size does not fit all

Device decisions with a VAT

Device selection algorithms, paired with new publications, guidelines and research, give healthcare professionals the keys to finding the best catheter for each patient, said Miss Viñals. The use of vascular access device selection algorithms in the Vall D’Hebron hospital have helped to give nurses and the vascular access team more autonomy.  

When the vascular access team first began, selecting a device was a job reserved for doctors. Now, many of the hospital’s nurses are trained to identify catheter needs and use the algorithm to select the right device. 

Watch Eva Carnicero Viñals' full presentation from MACOV@23


  1. Viñals EC. A nurse led vascular access team: How an evolving VAD decision algorithm drives to vascular access excellence. Lecture presented at: MACOV@ 2023: Multidisciplinary Advanced Course on Vascular Access; 15 September 2023.  

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