Methodist Hospitals’ Focus on Patient Safety Results Protects Against Dangerous Bloodstream Infections - December 12, 2017

Gary and Merrillville, IN. – Methodist Hospitals’ infection-control experts continue to be national leaders in the prevention of bloodstream infections due to a collaborative effort with highly trained and dedicated nurses. Findings from their most recent study showed zero bloodstream infections over 12 months with use of an innovative “midline” IV catheter, the POWERWAND, made by San Diego based Access Scientific.

Like a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), a midline catheter is inserted into a larger vein in the arm and gives clinicians a channel by which to provide the patient with medication and draw blood. Unlike a PICC, it does not extend all the way to the heart. Infections with midlines or other peripheral devices are tracked separately from infections with central lines which are more commonly reported as CLABSI (central line associated bloodstream infections). Methodist Hospitals tracks infections with all vascular access devices, not just central lines, which made it possible to measure the impact of the new device.

Intravenous catheters are used for blood draws and various types of medication delivery. American clinicians annually place several million IV catheters that travel through veins to the central venous system of the heart. Many of these are PICCS.

PICC lines are life-saving, but they can potentially lead to central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). To address this patient safety issue, Methodist Hospitals looked to reduce potential overutilization of PICCs through the use of POWERWAND midline catheter. It is important to note that our vascular access team helps determine the most appropriate device based on patient need. And, not every patient can or should receive a midline catheter. The PICC team, comprised of highly trained clinical nurses, implemented this process, tracked their results and collaborated with the infection control team to achieve the positive outcomes seen at Methodist Hospitals.

Results of the research on the use of the POWERWAND midline at Methodist Hospitals were recently presented by Michelle DeVries, MPH, CIC, the hospitals’ Senior Infection Control Officer, at the Association for Vascular Access national conference.  Methodist Hospitals’ vascular access research has taken top honors at the Association for Vascular Access national meeting for the last two years due to a collaborative effort with nursing staff.

“The absence of bloodstream infections associated with this particular midline is unprecedented,” said DeVries, the lead researcher.  “This is the only catheter-related study I’ve done in my 22 years in infection control where there has not been a single bloodstream infection,” said DeVries.”   Co-authors on the presentation were Janice Lee, RN, and Kathleen Rickard, RN, BSN, members of the hospital’s specialist nursing vascular access team.

Use of the POWERWAND device meant that most of the patients were able to complete their therapeutic regimens with only one needlestick. By contrast, patients with other kinds of IV catheters may endure multiple needle sticks during their hospital stay.

Following the mantra of “the right line for the right patient for the right reason,” the Methodist vascular access team achieved 12 months of POWERWAND midline insertions with no bloodstream infections. Additionally, there was a 35% reduction in the placement of PICC lines. Reducing central line days reduces the risk of CLABSI for a patient.  The data presented at the conference covered 2,688 inpatient midline days and demonstrated 82% completion of therapy.

Data compiled since completion of the study has continued to show zero bloodstream infections for the POWERWAND over an additional 2,261 inpatient midline days during the first 10 months of 2017.

“This research contributes to our ongoing implementation of patient-centered initiatives,” said Vincent Sevier, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Methodist Hospitals. “Every day you leave in a central line that isn’t necessary, you increase the risk for infection. This study shows that by carefully choosing what fits the actual patient need, we can reduce the risk of infection, and that’s good for the patient and the entire healthcare system.”

About Methodist Hospitals
Methodist Hospitals is a community-based, not-for-profit health system with two full-service acute care facilities, which has been leading the way to better health for residents of Northwest Indiana for almost 100 years. Methodist Hospitals offers a number of award-winning programs, including Heart and Vascular, Neuroscience and Oncology Institutes, Bariatric Surgery and Women’s Health program. Its range of services also includes Emergency and Trauma services, Orthopedics and Spine Care, Rehabilitation services and Home Health Services. It has earned s a Magnet® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

About Access Scientific, LLC

Access Scientific, LLC, based in San Diego, CA, is an evidence-based, infection prevention company offering innovative vascular access devices that are designed to reduce the risk of vascular device-related complications, including bloodstream infections. Visit to learn more.


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