Memorial’s PICC team honored nationally

ADVANCE magazine recognizes Memorial nurses with honorable mention
May 11, 2016
Memorial Hospital’s PICC team has been recognized for extraordinary teamwork by ADVANCE magazine. The team includes, from left to right, Heather Sarkisian, Robert Villanueva, Brett Roth, Jennifer Miller, Donna Toland, Andrea Ochs, Lorri Jameson and Heike Whitaker.

Memorial Hospital’s PICC team received an honorable mention in the 2016 ADVANCE for Nurses Best Nursing Team Contest – an award bestowed on hospital nursing units that show extraordinary teamwork and dedication to patients.

ADVANCE magazine recognized Memorial’s PICC team after receiving an essay about the team from Lorri Jameson, the team lead for the group of five full-time and two part-time registered nurses.

Jameson began the essay by saying that a patient’s experience in the hospital can often pivot on how well the PICC team performs.
“When a patient enters the emergency room or is admitted into the hospital it is likely that some type of vascular access will be needed at some time during their hospital stay. It can also be one of the biggest fears and greatest dissatisfiers that they will experience during their stay,’’ Jameson wrote.

The team includes Heather Sarkisian, Robert Villanueva, Brett Roth, Jennifer Miller, Donna Toland, Andrea Ochs, Heike Whitaker and Jameson.

“We have a huge impact on the hospital,’’ Jameson said. “They just go the extra mile to make sure that patients are taken care of.’’

The team members also goes out of their way to take care of each other, and to share information about how to exceed patients’ expectations.

“This team is very well resourced,’’ said Donna Toland, clinical nurse manager. “They will often bounce ideas off of each other if they encounter a patient who presents challenges. They are thoughtful people, and it’s all about the patient.’’

The team makes rounds throughout Memorial Hospital Central and Memorial Hospital North, providing direct patient care to patients who have PICC lines. The group is responsible for CVC, PICC and midline dressing changes, and provides regular education to the hospital staff regarding vascular access issues.

Their effort shows in the data the hospital collects and tracks to ensure that every possible step is taken to keep patients safe. Memorial has had a zero infection rate for more than a year in the category of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).

A CLABSI is considered a hospital-acquired infection and is not reimbursable through Medicare/Medicaid and many commercial insurance companies. The average cost of a CLABSI is between $30,000 and $60,000. Every day, Memorial’s nurses visit patients who have a PICC line or midline to change their dressings. The team often talks with nurses on the floor, giving them pointers about how to prevent infection in patients.

Jameson explained in the essay that Memorial is currently using “a system which allows us to visualize the PICC catheter as it moves into the chest and down into the SVC (superior vena cava) along with the ECG (electrocardiogram) that we use for placement verification.’’

Memorial’s team is the first PICC team in the United States to use ECG technology and the ninth hospital in the United States to use the technology without X-ray, meaning “we can clear our PICC lines using only the ECG technology, saving the patient from radiation exposure emitted from X-rays, as well as the added cost.’’

Jameson said the team was extremely excited to learn they had received the honor from ADVANCE magazine.

“You saw pride on their faces,’’ Jameson said.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.