WRMC First in State to Use New Placement System

White River Medical Center in Batesville, Arkansas is the first healthcare system in the state and one of 42 in the nation to implement a procedure using a new technology called Sapiens TCS by Bard Access Systems. Essential in improving patient care, the Sapiens Tip Confirmation System (TCS) confirms placement of the peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line.

When a patient, receives chemotherapy, antibiotics, nutrition, or any other medicine intravenously (or through a vein) a PICC line may be used. PICC lines are long, slender tubes which are inserted in a vein in a patient's upper arm and passed through increasingly larger veins toward the heart until the tip is in the desired location. The procedure is performed on a variety of patients in different settings from Oncology to Intensive Care.

In the past, health care professionals used X-RAY to confirm the placement of the PICC line tip. The FDA approved Sapiens TCS allows the line to be placed without the use of X-RAY, decreasing the time it takes to insert the line, as well as the patients’ exposure to radiation.

Because a PICC is centrally located, a patient can receive treatment that could not be obtained by a standard intravenous access. Through the minimally invasive procedure, patients also receive the benefits of less discomfort and decreased complication risk. Additionally, PICC lines last much longer than other central or periphery access devices.

The technology uses the electrical pattern from the patient's heartbeat (EKG) to allow nurses and healthcare professionals to pinpoint the exact location of the catheter’s tip. Two clinical studies have found the system to be 97 percent accurate on the first try.

"We are constantly looking for ways to improve patient care through state-of-the-art technology," said Dede Strecker, Chief Nursing Operator. “With the Sapiens TCS we saw an opportunity to improve a patient’s care, as well as improve the efficiency of our staff.

A team of specially trained nurses, called the Vascular Access team, are trained to use the Sapiens TCS system to insert the PICC line. The team includes Eva Howard BSN RN, and Jennifer Sherberth RN.