Being a calm presence in the room helps set the tone for everyone else around you.

Vicki McNally

PERT coordinator mobilizes team with speed and precision

Raising an energetic two-and-a-half-year-old boy has improved Vicki McNally’s patience and ability to respond quickly in chaotic situations.  In fact, her role as a mom has helped prepare her for the daily challenges she experiences as the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) Coordinator at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.


Prior to her job as PERT Coordinator, Vicki was a nurse on a medical progressive care unit while she earned her master’s degree in nursing. She joined Beaumont’s Acute Critical Response Team (ACRT) after becoming a nurse practitioner and when the PERT program launched in 2017, she knew she found a new calling.


“It’s been rewarding to start the program on day one and to see how far we’ve come,” says Vicki.

PERT is a multidisciplinary team of specialists that come together to treat patients with blood clots in their lungs, also known as a pulmonary embolism. These blood clots can be fatal, and many require immediate treatment.


Vicki explains, “On average we have one to two consults per days. Once our team arrives, the patient is risk stratified. For higher risk patients we initiate an immediate discussion with our team of physician specialists to quickly define the plan of care.”


From there, the team rapidly mobilizes the highest level of resources needed to treat each patient. Prior to Beaumont’s PERT program, it was difficult to coordinate which provider to contact and to mobilize the appropriate resources.


“With PE patients, if we don’t treat them quickly, they can decompensate rapidly,” says Vicki. “On the other hand, if we’re not asking the right questions to get the full story, we could miss a key detail. It’s speed combined with patience.”


Now, Vicki says, the lowest risk patients can be discharged to treat their PE in the comfort of their own home.


Coordinating and communicating with a team this large – comprised of NPs, PAs, cardiologists, radiologists, emergency physicians and more – is complex, but a task that suits Vicki’s experience.


“I learned to hone my skills during my time on the ACRT team. We function as the stroke team, rapid response team, internal medicine / admission team and handled critical situations multiple times per shift,” says Vicki. “Being a calm presence in the room helps set the tone for everyone else around you.”


For Vicki, the most gratifying part of her role in Beaumont’s PERT program is seeing how these changes have directly improved patient care and outcomes.


“What keeps me going is the significant impact we have on our patients and their loved ones,” Vicki says. “There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you have helped and continue to help so many people suffering from PE.”