March 29, 2024

Vanderbilt Health converts to new tube feeding products

Vanderbilt Health is converting to a new, enternal feeding connectors across the enterprise this spring, starting in April.

By June, all existing feeding tubes for inpatients, outpatients and in-home care patients will be replaced with ENFit connectors that are designed to enhance patient safety and reduce the risk of tubing misconnections. This replacement system is recommended by the International Organization of Standardization.

“Quality is one of the most important promises we make to our patients. On any given day, about 80 adult inpatients and 45 pediatric patients under our care rely on tube feeding to send nutrition to the stomach or intestines,” said Warren Sandberg, MD, Chief of Staff, Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology. “It’s crucial we fully deploy a system that reduces tube misconnections and increases patient safety.”

The rollout of the new ENFit feeding devices starts with Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital on April 8, followed by four waves in two-week intervals.  Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital will convert on April 22, followed by Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital on May 6.  Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital will convert on May 20, and the roll-out will conclude with Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton on June 3. All ambulatory clinics across the enterprise will convert to ENFit in alignment with the corresponding hospital.

The ENFit Executive Steering Committee and the Adult and Regional, Pediatric, and Transition Management Office Discharge sub-committees, made up of our physicians, pharmacy, nursing, care teams, supply chain, and educational leaders, has been meeting since the fall of 2023, to plan for this patient safety risk project.

“We have groups of very committed people working on this project to make the roll out effective and seamless. We have developed cleaning procedures, transition kits and posted education in the Learning Exchange so that everyone has all the information to quickly become confidant with this new system,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, executive chief nursing officer.

The ENFit education and training, developed for our clinical teams and specialty areas, are critical to the success of this implementation. Clinical and education leaders are disseminating key educational resources to teams through directors, managers, and supervisors. Release of LMS training modules is starting and will continue through the complete implementation. Training modules include:

“This initiative exemplifies our ‘Culture of Safety’ because it is the industry standard, allows for greater patient safeguards and a more cohesive system for our clinicians,” said Jenny Slayton, DNP, RN, senior vice president for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention. “We always seek to do things better tomorrow than we did today – no doubt this conversion will make the greatest positive impact for our patients.