Enteral Connector FAQs
Find out the answers to all your frequently asked questions about ENFit® and enteral connectors more broadly.
The transition to ENFit® enteral connectors represents a major shift in the healthcare industry, and will require adjustments to processes that have been in place for years. It’s understandable that nurses, procurement managers, and hospital administrators will have a lot of questions in the face of these changes. Luckily, Kentec Medical is here to answer them! We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about ENFit® products so you can get all the answers you need in one place.
Frequently Asked Questions About ENFit®
1. What is ENFit®?
ENFit® is an enteral connection system designed to improve patient safety by preventing feeding tube misconnections and reducing opportunities for human error. The term “ENFit®” refers to any product — including enteral connectors, adaptors, and syringes — that are compliant with ISO standard 80369-3. These products have standardized ends that can only be connected to other ENFit® products and can’t be connected accidentally to any neighboring tubes.
2. Why are hospitals around the world making the transition to ENFit®?
Hospitals are making the transition to ENFit® because ENFit® products can significantly improve patient safety by preventing misconnections and other serious adverse events, including death. The Joint Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and Global Enteral Device Supplier Association (GEDSA) have released numerous statements in support of this change, and hospitals in the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand are quickly approaching 100 percent adoption.
3. How will ENFit® connectors promote patient safety?
New ENFit® connectors can only be attached to other ENFit® products, meaning they’re incompatible with neighboring devices or syringes that can fit in both IV and enteral tubing connectors. This leads to fewer misconnections and fewer opportunities for human error, which dramatically improves patient outcomes. Also, ENFit® connectors have a locking feature that ensures a secure, leak-free connection.
Additionally, ENFit® connectors promote patient safety by helping NICU nurses maintain a streamlined organizational system. ENFit® products don’t require transitional connectors, so there are fewer small pieces of equipment to keep track of. Nurses can rely on the strength and security of the ENFit® connection, not labels or color-coding or temporary measures, to ensure their patients receive proper care.
4. Can ENFit® products be used for medication administration?
Yes! For accurate enteral dosing, connect the ENFit® syringe with the ENFit® fill cap attached to the medication bottle. Gently turn the medication bottle upside down, then quickly but gently pull and push back the syringe plunger to cycle it once or more. Finally, pull the plunger back to withdraw the desired medication dose. For medication doses of less than 1 mL and for syringes that are 5 mL or smaller, it might be best to use an ENFit® Low Dose Tip syringe.
5. Will ENFit® products be color-coded?
The new ISO 80369-3 standard doesn’t include color-coding requirements. Since the standard design of ENFit® ends makes it highly unlikely that a NICU nurse could connect two incompatible devices, color-coding isn’t necessary because nurses don’t have to memorize a particular color scheme to ensure a proper connection. You might see a consistent color among ENFit® products — all of Kentec’s enteral products are orange, for example — but it’s not a requirement.
6. When will legacy enteral connectors be discontinued?
The discontinuation of legacy enteral connectors is left up to individual manufacturers. For example, GEDSA and its member manufacturers have extended their phase-out deadlines due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Legacy feeding tubes and cross-application connectors from these manufacturers will remain in circulation until July 1, 2021, but that might not be the case across the entire industry. To find out exactly when your manufacturer will discontinue legacy enteral connectors, contact your supplier representative directly.
Customer service is paramount at Kentec Medical. If your hospital still uses legacy enteral connectors, we can provide both legacy and ENFit® enteral supplies until the market only requires ENFit®. We’re ready to help you make the full transition to ENFit® at any time.
7. Why should procurement managers outfit their hospitals with ENFit® connectors?
ENFit® connectors offer a simple way to reduce the risk of enteral misconnections and improve patient safety. Human errors are inevitable, but they can be serious when they occur in a hospital setting. By using enteral connectors that cannot be connected to devices with any other purpose, hospitals can prevent misconnections and save lives.
Getting Started with ENFit®
Making the transition to ENFit® can seem daunting. At Kentec Medical, we’re ready to help nurse managers and procurement managers make the transition to ENFit® connectors as smoothly as possible. Our unparalleled commitment to customer service means we are here to answer any additional questions you may have, and provide the guidance you need to start delivering a better healthcare experience. Contact us today to find out how Kentec Medical can help you adopt ENFit® or purchase more safety oral enteral products for your hospital.
ENFit Conversion: A Global Perspective [PDF]. (2020, August). Columbus, Ohio: Global Enteral Device Supplier Association.
ISO 80369-3:2016. (2017, November 08). Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://www.iso.org/standard/50731.html