Vein finder improves patient experience and flow in Plymouth

A piece of equipment known as a vein finder is being used at Derriford Hospital, part of University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, in order to improve the experience for patients with hard-to-find veins.

Sarah Harvey, lead specialist nurse for rheumatology, describes how the technology “works by infrared, which can bounce back and show us visibility of the vein which you cannot do with the naked eye.”

She adds: “We are really grateful to have received this which has significantly enhanced patient flow and patient experience in the infusion room.

“It reduces the time we need to attempt cannulation patients and how often we might need to cannulate them because of failed attempts, which can be quite distressing for some patients.

“We have got lots of patients now where we get the vein finder out straight away to use on them when we feel cannulation will be difficult as it makes their experience better. It magnifies the veins and makes them easier to see. We do however continue to do this without the equipment, to ensure our skills remain effective.”

Last year, the trust introduced smart watches for people living with Parkinson’s diseaseThe Parkinson’s KinetiGraph enables healthcare teams to assess a patient’s condition and movements remotely – replacing a previous paper-based process. 

The device is worn for six days to collect information on a patient’s movements and medication adherence, to relay the data to healthcare professionals, who then search for signs their patient’s medicines need changing, or that alternative interventions such as physiotherapy could be required.