Changing a NPWT System in a Hospital Can Be Challenging – A Good Partner Supports the Transition Process

A New Take on Negative Pressure Wound Therapy at East Jefferson

East Jefferson General Hospital (Metairie, Louisiana) is a high-volume, 420-bed facility with a dedicated team of wound and ostomy care (WOC) nurses responsible for wound healing and management. A substantial cohort of patients being treated at East Jefferson require chronic wound care, making the WOC team’s daily responsibilities critical to the hospital’s overall success.

When Brigette Strain – an experienced nurse venturing into wound care for the first time – joined the team at East Jefferson, the hospital had already decided to replace its existing portable negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) pumps with the Invia Liberty™ from Medela. The team at East Jefferson chose the Liberty for its ease of use, low profile, and technical features, which provide the convenience of a personal wound vac machine with the efficacy of a reusable system.

Now, Brigette and her team were tasked with ensuring a seamless implementation on the hospital floor. Fortunately, Medela arrived ready to deliver a support and education experience that made this implementation smooth and rewarding.

Brigette Strain and Tracey Roberts

Brigette Strain with the Medela Sales Rep, Tracey Roberts and Kelly Juluke, WOCN

Venturing into New Territory with Help from Medela

When Brigette first engaged Medela to set up implementation of the hospital’s new NPWT system, she was new to the world of wound and ostomy care, and unfamiliar with negative pressure wound therapy technology. “This was the first time I had seen a NPWT pump,” said Brigette. “I knew Medela made other types of pumps, but I was completely new to negative pressure therapy.”

Accordingly, the Invia Liberty was the first negative pressure wound therapy device Brigette trained to use. To make the most of her training and facilitate an effective transition, she took advantage of Medela’s robust education and support resources, including:

  • Step-by-step instructional YouTube videos.
  • A product-specific app with how-to videos and clinical pearls.
  • Medela University (now Knowledge Journal), an online resource library that helps clinician learn the nuances of NPWT therapy.

“The wound vac-specific resources Medela provides are easy to find online and easy to digest. I leaned on them frequently to help me get acquainted with the important technical aspects of NPWT pumps, as well as pearls for use in clinic,” notes Brigette. “Additionally, the Medela team provided around-the-clock support via its dedicated help line. The few time-sensitive technical questions we had were answered thoroughly and promptly.”

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The Right Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System for the Job

“The Liberty’s ease of use is definitely a major positive. The interface is easy to understand and operate. When there’s a problem, which is generally uncommon, the device flags you and steers you towards a relevant troubleshooting guide. In the rare instances where we’ve had to call Medela for live technical support, issues are resolved quickly.”  - Brigette Strain, RN

In addition to getting hands on with the right educational resources, Brigette notes that she benefited greatly from the user and technical benefits of the Invia Liberty itself, which made implementing effective negative pressure wound therapy inherently easier.

Despite being new to wound care and negative pressure wound therapy, Brigitte completed her training and began overseeing patient case in a relatively short amount of time, which she attributes to the product’s intuitive design and strong technical support.

Brigette also notes patient satisfaction with the device as a major driver of smooth implementation. The Liberty is comfortable, ergonomically designed, and quieter than legacy wound vac technologies, making it a patient-friendly choice for chronic wound care. “They like that their wounds are healing with negative pressure technology,” she said, “and we don’t really hear any complaints about the device itself.”

Achieving Better NPWT with the Personal Touch

“Right after we started implementation, we were visited by Anita who trained all of us on how to use the Invia Liberty most effectively. Anita was extremely knowledgeable on wound vac technology and procedures, answering our questions and guiding us as we started getting hands-on experience.” - Brigette Strain, RN

A critical part of Brigette’s successful implementation of the Invia Liberty – as well as her successful transition to wound care nurse, in general – was Medela’s personalized on-site support initiatives, which included frequent visits from Medela’s NPWT nurse specialist, Anita English, and deep support from the Medela sales rep calling on East Jefferson, Tracey Roberts.

Brigette also appreciated that the nurse educator (Anita) took time to train all the wound care nurses working the hospital floor, instead of just training a single “super user.” “In combination with the educational resources Medela makes available via its online channels, our entire team had pretty much all of the knowledge, support, and reference materials we needed.” 

When Anita wasn’t present at East Jefferson, the Medela sales rep, Tracey, was available to help troubleshoot, facilitate component reorders, and otherwise serve as an extension of the Medela customer support team.

NPWT healing wound

Invia FitPad to be connected to Invia Liberty pump

The Best Reason to Choose Medela NPWT – In Her Words

“The entire Medela team really extends themselves to provide the best experience possible for both wound care nurses and their patients. Patients who go home with Medela products can receive at-home assistance, and from my personal experience, I’ve seen Medela team members work aggressively to mediate between patients and insurance companies to arrange the best path forward for quality care.”  - Brigette Strain, RN

 When asked what aspect of the entire NPWT implementation process she found most beneficial, Brigette quickly pointed to Medela’s robust support.

“I’m particularly grateful for the efforts of Anita and Tracey, two Medela support specialists who always went the extra mile for me, my team, and my patients,” she said. “Whenever they were on site, they checked in on patients and made us aware of any issues promptly and respectfully. They helped us make the most of our technology, but more importantly, they served as true care assets – almost as if they were an extension of our team. That type of support is as rare as it is helpful.”

Superior Technology with Superior Service – That’s the Power of Medela NPWT

“Overall, I’ve had an excellent experience with Medela. They made our transition as smooth as possible, and even today, they’re still there for us.” - Brigette Strain, RN

Being completely new to wound care, Brigitte was concerned that her responsibilities, including onboarding a new NPWT system, would be difficult. But because of the Invia Liberty’s user-friendly design and the unwavering support of her dedicated Medela team, Brigette was able to make the transition to a new wound vac solution smoothly and effectively.

Today, the Medela team – including Brigette’s nurse educator and Medela reps – continue to check in on her and her patients, offering continued support and guidance at East Jefferson.

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