Lake Forest Hospital Among Handful In World To Offer PIVO™ Needle-Free Blood Draws


To improve the patient experience for one of the most common medical procedures, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital became the first hospital in Illinois to offer PIVO needle-free blood draws.


For as many as one-third of hospital patients, blood draws aren’t a quick and easy part of the healthcare experience.* Difficult venous draws can cause pain, anxiety, disrupted sleep when patients must be woken up for another blood draw, and other undesirable side effects. But innovation in this area hasn’t occurred in decades — until recently, when a new device changed the way blood can be drawn.


In July 2019, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital became the first hospital in Illinois and only the eighth healthcare provider in the world to offer PIVO, a needle-free, single-use, sterile device that enables high-quality blood collection through existing IV lines. By temporarily attaching to a peripheral IV catheter, PIVO can go past valves that would ordinarily restrict blood flow collection.


* Whalen M, Maliszewski D, Baptiste DL. Establishing a dedicated difficult vascular access team in the emergency department. J Infus Nurs. 2017;40(3):149-154. doi:10.1097/nan.0000000000000218. 

Pivoting to Needle-Free

The decision to be among the first to use PIVO was made in response to an overwhelming number of patient surveys indicating unhappiness with multiple sticks — as many as 10 during a brief stay. But an equally important factor was being able to offer patients clinical excellence informed by science, especially in often-overlooked areas of care, like phlebotomy.
Before making PIVO available hospitalwide, a team of phlebotomists, nurses, physicians and directors conducted an extensive review process as well as an onsite trial, allowing the team to compare PIVO with traditional blood draws to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Lab phlebotomists and nurses also received training on device use, including new ways of dressing the IV site and the most appropriate locations to insert the IV.

Patient and Physician Benefits

In addition to allowing for safe and high-quality blood sample collection, PIVO offers invaluable benefits that help reinforce Northwestern Medicine’s patient-first approach to care and innovation. From a reduction in anxiety, pain and bruising to fewer sleep disruptions — all primary concerns among the older adult population — Lake Forest Hospital has seen significant improvements in the patient experience. For care teams, PIVO has alleviated stress from difficult venous draws, decreased the number of repeat sticks and reduced concerns about accidental exposure to infection.

What’s Next

s with any new device or technology, Northwestern Medicine will continue to monitor its success through patient and staff surveys and by tracking the quality of samples obtained through PIVO draws. Following a systemwide evaluation, PIVO could be rolled out to additional locations beginning in 2022, giving even more patients and physicians the opportunity to experience this innovative technology.