West Campus PICU celebrates five-year anniversary

March 5, 2019

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is celebrating more than just its 5th anniversary this week. The unit will mark the milestone without having any hospital-acquired infections, a significant achievement for the unit’s staff and a huge win for the patients treated there.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to have gone this long without any hospital acquired infections,” medical director of the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Matthew Pesek said. “Limiting hospital acquired infections is a major hospital initiative, and it’s something we take tremendous pride in achieving.”

Pesek said nurses, physicians and the leadership team all played a part in the unit’s success. The PICU care team does weekly quality rounds, along with continuous monitoring and documenting to ensure compliance with best practices and quality bundles; care tactics that significantly improve patient outcomes.

“Infection prevention is at the forefront of everything the team does,” Pesek said. “They work to ensure central lines are kept clean, and nurses work collaboratively with physicians to determine if a line is absolutely necessary.”

The PICU nurses also are trained to place ultrasound-guided IVs in patients who are difficult to access. This new technique provides nurses with easier access and reduces the number of days a patient has a central line and the patient’s exposure to possible infection.

“I am so proud of our team and what we have achieved together,” assistant clinical director of the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Karen Sripan said. “It feels really great to know that, since we’ve been open, not only has our team provided great care, but our patients and the community have responded positively. Our Press Ganey scores were 100 percent for our hospital rating this past month, which is validation that we are doing an outstanding job.”

Since opening five years ago, West Campus’ PICU has grown to meet the evolving needs of patients in the community and beyond. Partially funded by a generous $1 million donation from the Lauren and Lara Camillo Family Trusts, the unit opened its doors in 2014 on the second floor of the hospital with eight beds. Three years later, the unit was moved to the fourth floor of the hospital and more than doubled in size, expanding to 22 beds.

“The acuity of our practice has just changed dramatically over the course of five years,” Pesek said. “We are taking care of patients who nobody dreamed would even be within our scope. The ability to manage critically ill patients in the community, to the highest quality, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team.”