October 31, 2019

Centura Health’s St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City and Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital in Ulysses recently began offering needle-free blood draws for inpatients, becoming the first health system in Kansas and Colorado to offer the technology.

Instead of needles, the draws are now being carried out with the PIVO™ device from Velano Vascular.

“This new technology is changing the face of how patients experience hospital care,” said Dawn Bloemen, Centura Health’s Emerging Technology Analyst.

Blood draws are such a common component of a hospital stay, the associated trauma to patients has largely been overlooked — and while the results inform 70% of all clinical decisions, there has been little innovation in this procedure or related technologies in decades.

“PIVO means we can get the blood we need from an already placed IV line, painlessly, avoiding some eight hundred and fifty thousand unnecessary needle sticks a year! It’s a game changer, and Centura is very proud to be leading the way towards a more comfortable hospital stay for our patients,” Bloeman said.

Since the first implementation of PIVO at Littleton Adventist Hospital in October 2018 and then through expanding the use of this device across the region, Centura Health has removed 382,433 needles from the workplace — making an impact to the patients and providing a safer environment to staff.

PIVO works through a special connection at a patient peripheral IV line, enabling Centura Health caregivers to extract high quality blood samples directly from the vein, pain-free, without an additional needle stick.

“We are committed to innovation on behalf of the half a million patients and the tens of thousands of providers that tend to their health and wellbeing within our hospitals every year,” said Shauna Gulley, SVP and Chief Clinical Officer of Centura Health. “We are proud to be the first health system in the region and one of the first in the country to challenge the need for needles in blood collection, upending a status quo that creates unnecessary pain, anxiety and risk.”

Chelsea Gray, RN at Bob Wilson in Ulysses, estimates she has done 10 to 15 blood draws using PIVO since the hospital rolled out the new technology on Oct. 8. The process is much more convenient for patients, as well as less painful, she said.

“They’re not getting poked repeatedly,” Gray said. “The patients love it. They love that they don’t have to get stuck several times throughout the day, especially if we’re doing serial lab draws — like serial troponins or something like that — where we’re constantly having to go in there every few hours. It’s a huge benefit for them.”

Gray foresees PIVO being particularly helpful when drawing blood from young patients.

“I haven’t gotten to use it on a pediatric patient yet, but I think that’s going to be even more beneficial because it is very traumatic for a child to be poked over and over,” Gray said.

Count recent St. Catherine patient Jim Mills, of Garden City, as a believer in the benefits of needle-free blood draws. He said he had to have blood drawn multiple times during his stay at the hospital, and that the PIVO process was “very fast and efficient.”

“I don’t know how you could not like it. It sure lessened the infringement of having to take more shots to draw blood,” Mills said. “And it worked perfectly. I don’t know who thought of it, but it was a great idea.”

The change to needle-free blood draws is an example of how St. Catherine has used technology to improve patient care, Mills said.

“The technology and the hospital at St. Catherine have improved so much,” Mills said. “They’re really on the cutting edge now of providing services, I think.”

The PIVO device now is being used in all Centura Health hospitals across Colorado and western Kansas.

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