Strategies for Transitioning to New Tubing Connectors

PUBLISHED: Nov 1, 2016

New design standards are being developed for tubing connectors for high-risk medical applications (e.g., enteral, respiratory, neuraxial), so that unrelated devices cannot connect with each other. Health care facilities must take steps to ensure a seamless transition from non-standardized connector designs. Keys to a successful transition include planning, communication, and training.

Health care facilities should consider the following strategies:

  • Work with suppliers to develop a plan for removing devices with old connector designs from inventory and replacing them with devices with the new connectors.
  • Promote early coordination between the facility staff that obtains and maintains medical devices and the staff that uses the medical devices to ensure adequate inventory levels as devices with new connectors for therapeutic groups are introduced. The patient safety and quality assurance staff should be alerted to the transition, in order to make any relevant changes to their procedures.
  • Develop a plan to ensure that all clinicians and providers are informed of the transition to devices with new connectors.
  • Ensure all clinicians and providers are trained in advance of introducing medical devices with new connectors to avoid any interruption in therapy.
  • Advise all staff to not modify or adapt the medical device or its connector outside of its intended use, in order to prevent misconnections.

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