Jane Hartman, CNP, is an advanced practice nurse in Cleveland Clinic’s Pediatric Institute. Throughout her career, she has observed many patients attempt to ambulate while attached to an intravenous (IV) line, which is problematic because of the length of the IV tubing. At a standard length of around six feet, with extension sets standard practice for surgical patients, the tangled tubing makes ambulation difficult. This problem becomes even more apparent for hospitalized children, when the lines can be more than twice their height. In 2017, Hartman came up with the idea for the High-Line™, an IV carriage system that raises IV lines off the floor – making motion easier and minimizing hazardous scenarios. While the High-Line was initially intended for Cleveland Clinic’s smallest patients, 2020 brought about a new target population: those individuals in COVID-19 isolation units. When the need arose to bring IV pumps outside of patients’ rooms to minimize caregiver exposure and save precious personal protective equipment (PPE), Hartman and Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Nancy Albert, PhD, knew they had a solution.
In the face of the global pandemic, Hartman and Dr. Albert reached out to Cleveland Clinic Innovations to expedite High-Line prototyping and provide a much-needed solution as quickly as possible. The IV carriage system consists of a stem with attachable cradles that hold, organize and elevate tubing, cords and lines. Cleveland Clinic Innovations engaged Medical Device Solutions in the Lerner Research Institute, Case Western Reserve University’s Think[box] and industry collaborator Protolabs to create versions of the High-Line specific to the needs of the intensive care units (ICUs).
While the original run of devices from Protolabs were put into use in mid-2020, Hartman worked with Amanda Wochele and Bill Kolosi of Innovations to seek a license partner to bring the High-Line to market. The end of 2020 saw a partner in place and contracts very nearly signed. The partner, a medical supply company, will manufacture, market and distribute the device moving forward.
Throughout the pandemic, the team made the High-Line available to other institutions who were interested in trialing the prototype. To date, devices have been sent to several hospital systems: Deaconess, Christus Health, WakeMed and the Yale-New Haven Medical Center, to name a few. Over 6,000 High-Lines have been used within Cleveland Clinic’s system in both COVID-19 and routine care nursing units.
“This is like nothing I’ve ever done before,” said Hartman when asked for her thoughts on the development of her idea. “When you go to nursing school, you don’t think anything like this will ever happen. Making this solution a reality is beyond my wildest dreams.”