Washington Regional is the first healthcare system in Northwest Arkansas to implement new technology that improves care for patients who have peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines, according to a hospital statement.
PICC lines are often used in the treatment of patients with chronic diseases requiring long-term intravenous (IV) access for medication, blood products, nutrients or other fluids that are delivered by IV. A PICC line is inserted into one of the veins in the upper arm and then threaded through increasingly larger veins toward the heart until the tip is in place.
Standard IVs require changing every few days, resulting in a patient receiving multiple needle sticks. PICC lines may remain in place for weeks or months with a low risk of infection, offering a more comfortable patient experience.
Traditionally, PICC placement has been confirmed by a chest X-ray. The new technology, featuring the FDA-approved Sapiens TCS device by Bard, allows PICC lines to be placed by a nurse at a patient’s bedside using real-time ultrasound that provides information about the catheter’s tip location. This not only reduces radiation exposure by eliminating the need for an X-ray, but also allows nurses to immediately confirm the line placement, letting patients receive treatment much more quickly.
“Washington Regional is committed to implementing innovative technology that improves care for our patients, both in the hospital and in the community,” Shannon Jones, director of Washington Regional Wound Care Clinic, said in the statement.