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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cardinal Health Grant Supports Advanced Feeding Tube Education Program at Allegheny Health Network

The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) will use a Cardinal Health Continuing Medical Education (CME) Grant of over $18,000 to teach staff to use cutting edge technology to improve feeding tube placement in patients. Under the leadership of Dr. Katie Farah, the Quality Program in the Division of Gastroenterology at AHN will educate and train staff to use an integrated real-time imaging system (IRIS) to aid small bore feeding tube placement in patients under direct vision using a camera. The Kangaroo™ Feeding Tube with IRIS technology is manufactured by Cardinal Health.

Feeding tube insertion may involve blind bedside placement, which requires X-rays to confirm proper placement. Bedside feeding tube placement without direct visualization subjects patients to potential risks, including accidental misplacement, delay in feedings, and harm to other organs such as the lung or brain.

“Cardinal Health funding will allow staff to become proficient with IRIS technology and its visualization capabilities to improve the delivery of enteral nutrition to patients in a safe, effective, and timely manner,” said Dr. Katie Farah, Chief Quality Officer, Division of Gastroenterology at AHN. “Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the risks of radiation, reduce length of stay, and improve time to delivery of feedings in our inpatients across the Network. The AHN team and I are thrilled to partner with Cardinal Health on this important training initiative.”

AHN will create an ongoing comprehensive training program in using IRIS technology, which will center on competency for feeding tube placement. The development and deployment of a comprehensive network-wide training plan is designed to ultimately improve staff competency as well as patient experience and health outcomes for approximately 500-1000 patients annually.

Training will begin with a three-month education program at each of four system hospitals; a physician leader, physician faculty or medical peer will provide training program oversight.

“This grant provides AHN with access to cutting-edge IRIS technology,” says Allie Quick, AHN’s Chief Philanthropy Officer. “We will be able to treat patients with improved accuracy, background knowledge and skills to deliver superior outcomes and maximize the patient experience.”

“IRIS technology represents a tremendous advancement in care for patients requiring enteral nutrition,” said Sandy Schoepfel, MS RD RN CNSC LDN, Clinical Education Consultant at Cardinal Health. “Cardinal Health is pleased to support Dr. Farah and the AHN team in this important training initiative.”

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