After three years of research, collaboration and determination, the RGH NICU is the first unit in Canada to start using the ENFit line– a feeding system improving the quality and safety of care provided to neonates.
Tamara Dickin and Charlene Huber-Flahr, NICU CNEs and Tom Sorensen NICU/SCN Manager spent three years researching and collaborating to make this change.Historically, the region used IV equipment for neonates requiring tube feeding, which meant the possibility for milk to enter the bloodstream or for intravenous drugs to be accidently administered orally.
“While we’ve never had an error where a neonate was fed intravenous drugs or vice versa, it’s always important to ensure the high quality, safe care of our patients. We know errors have occurred elsewhere in the country and wanted to ensure we avoided that at all costs,” said Tamara Dickin, clinical nurse educator in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit.
What is ENFit?
The ENFit system utilizes small-bore connectors to ensure no unrelated delivery systems, like an IV containing medication, can be connected to the milk delivery system.
What makes the ENFit feeding system safer is it’s unique small-bore connectors that ensure no unrelated delivery systems, like an IV containing medication, can be connected to the milk delivery system.
“This switch means we are reducing the risk of misconnections and wrong route errors,” said. “And, the NICU nurses were eager and easily able to adapt to the new system.”
The region is also ahead of an upcoming change in the legislation.
“The ENFit system meets ISO 80369 series of global standards, a new set of standards that all will soon be legislated to follow,” Dickin said
These standards specify the dimensions and requirements for the design and functional performance of tube feeding (enteral) devices and accessories. These global standards are being implemented to minimize the risk of accidental misconnections feeding systems to other small-bore connectors, such as IV lines, resulting in patient harm.
“With the support of Gary Szocstak from McArthur Medical and Kevin Maki of NeoMed, the transition to the new system went smoothly,” said Dickin. “The NICU staff strive to provide the most safe and proficient care to the neonates and families. We are proud that our efforts in pursuing the ENFit line have become a reality.”
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