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Nurse research leads to vascular access positioning system at Presence Saint Joseph

Monday September 23, 2013
Research by Connie Girgenti, RN, helped lead to a new vascular access positioning system at Presence Saint Joseph.
Research by Connie Girgenti, RN, helped lead to a new vascular access positioning system at Presence Saint Joseph.
(Photo courtesy of Presence Saint Joseph)
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A nurse at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., did a study that helped lead to new hospital technology that allows for more accurate placement of peripherally inserted central catheter and reduces radiation exposure for patients who need the catheter, according to a news release.

Traditionally after a PICC is placed, a chest X-ray is taken to confirm the optimal tip placement.

Sometimes, the X-ray reveals an improper placement, meaning the entire process might need to be repeated, causing a delay in care.

Vascular Access Coordinator Connie Girgenti, RN, VA-BC, felt there had to be a better way, according to the release. She read a study conducted by Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., about a new technology called the VasoNova Vascular Positioning System. VPS uses a combination of intravascular Doppler ultrasound, EKG and an algorithm to provide the clinician with real-time navigation as the catheter is being placed.

“It’s like seeing inside the chest,” Girgenti said in the release.

Girgenti conducted her own internal review board-approved study to put the Georgetown findings to the test. Her research found VPS eliminated the need for a chest X-ray after PICC placement in patients with normal sinus rhythm.

“It’s empowering because it takes away the guesswork and you know the tip is exactly where it’s supposed to be,” Girgenti said in the release. “It’s changing the way we practice. The nurses are happy because they can start using the PICC right away instead of waiting for the chest X-ray to be taken and the results to be read and dictated.”

Girgenti has submitted a poster of her research to the Association for Vascular Access. The research will be presented at the association’s national conference in September. She’s also working with leadership at Saint Joseph to start using the system for the placement of central venous catheters, or central lines.


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