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Denise Shuler
Length of time from end of PICC insertion until x-ray is taken and interpreted

I would like to know the average length of time in your institutions from the completion of a PICC inseriton until the x-ray is interpreted and the PICC is ready for use. What is the time between the completion of the x-ray until the interpretation is available making the PICC ready for use?

Thank you.

Robbin George
About 30 minutes--We have a

About 30 minutes--We have a good working relationship with most of the Radiologists--Around dinner time it can drag out to an hour

Robbin George RN Vascular Access Resource Department Alexandria Hospital Virginia

Robbin George RN VA-BC

Gina Ward
picc ready for use time


Our radiology dept is great.  They usually come and take the post picc cxr within 5-10 minutes, I am usually still charting when they are showing up.  Radiologist has it read within 5-10 minutes as well.  We use a computer xray program, so as soon as the films are taken we can see them.  This helps so I can very quickly see if it is juglar, contralateral etc..  

My radiology dept is so quick and helpful even my patients boast how quick it all goes.  I am always sure to reward them with a basket full of goodies on Radiolgy day and lots of thanks through out the year.


Gina Ward R.N., VA-BC

CXR is usually done 15min or

CXR is usually done 15min or so. Readings generally take between 1-2 hours. They could be quicker, but because we have had problems with some of the radiologists reading the films incorrectly, we asked that the Interventional Rads read the films. A common problem is the rads reading picc lines as in RA when they are distal svc/ra junction. We are able to review the images as soon as they are taken so often if we have a IJ or loop or contralateral ect., we exchange or power flush or pull back and flush and refilm before the first is even read. It is unusual for the process to take longer than 2h from start to finish.

Gwen Irwin
Length of time from end of PICC insertion to use

I have to answer this because we are one of the groups that don't have to wait for the radiologists to interpret the chest x-ray.

Our radiology department is very good to respond in a short time and the average time from insertion to our view of the film is less than 30 minutes. 

We view the film, determine the tip location, and release for use in 30 minutes or less.

It has significantly reduced the time to completion to the use of the PICC.  We have been doing this for almost 6 years.  

Gwen Irwin

Austin, Texas

can be hours

Even though we're a teaching facility, it usually is at least one hour, sometimes 2, occasionally more.  We began to dialogue with the radiology department and our manager a couple of years ago about us determining tip location, and got a huge amount of push back.  We make phone calls, page the rads - do whatever we can to get a reading asap - but still have issues.

We are currently doing a retrospective analysis from Jan-June of this year of the time interval between completion of PICC (time xray ordered), the time that xray was taken, time that the xray loaded into PACS, whether portable or in department, and finally the time that we got the wet reading.  We'll go back to our manager and radiology with this information and another well written proposal.


Mari Cordes, BS RNIII VA-BC
Vascular Access Department
University of Vermont Medical Center

Kathleen M. Wilson
Normally, it works out within

Normally, it works out within 30 to 1 hr min unless the ER is very busy or the IR is swamped or unavailable. However, the weekends present a problem for reading the CXR. We have to call the on-call, and this can be a long process.....

Kathleen Wilson, CRNI

Because I travel to many LTC

Because I travel to many LTC facilities to place piccs that have no xray and contract out the length can be very long to obtain confirmation. I have placed picc at 8am and the facitity finally gets results up to 6 to 8 hours later. This is frustrating because patient is waiting for med and if not in proper position a return visit is needed. I wish we could carry something portable that we could xray line at placement. some day...

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