A Real-Time Software System to Monitor Central Line CVC Use in Hospitals


A real-time system for tracking, reporting and correcting errors in documentation of central venous catheter (CVC) use to improve the validity of electronic CVC data.

Key Benefits

  • Provides a constant update of central line CVC use.
  • Summarizes central line CVC use for each patient at the end of their hospitalization.
  • It is compatible with existing electronic patient record systems.
  • Enables patients and practitioners to make informed decisions regarding medical care based on device-associated data.

Technical Summary

CVCs are intravenous catheters used to administer fluids or medications. Although efficacious in patient treatment, CVCs have an alarming rate of morbidity and death due to infections, particularly amongst intensive care unit (ICU) patients. To improve patient outcome, a comprehensive approach for CVC use monitoring could be implemented. Such a system should capture meaningful data about CVC use, offer a mistake-tracking system, provide a retrospective analysis of CVC use in individual patients, and create a better way to present information on CVC related complications distinguishing ICU from non-ICU patients. By meeting such standards, this system could substantially improve patient care and streamline CVC use.

Emory Investigators have developed a software system that meets and exceeds these standards. Using a combinational approach it provides a real-time CVC rounds report to determine which patients have central lines at any given moment. It also provides a daily snap-shot of CVC use in patients and emails this report to respective clinicians each day. It creates an excel formula that flags common documentation errors and also produces a monthly analysis of CVC use, errors, CVC line type, location, and total line dwell time for the entire patient hospitalization period. The system is compatible with information from common electronic medical record databases and can create validation reports of CVC use in ICU vs. non-ICU patients. This system could be useful not only in hospital-based care, but also by nursing homes, private organizations, consumer agencies and patients to provide comprehensive data about CVC use in patient care.

Developmental Stage

  • Proof of concept has been established using the day-tracking algorithm to monitor urinary catheter use.
  • System is being extended to CVC tracking of outpatients following hospital discharge.

Patent Information

Tech ID: 10153
Published: 8/22/2011