Barriers and facilitators to central venous catheter insertion: A qualitative study

Kenzie A. Cameron*, Elaine R. Cohen, Joelle R. Hertz, Diane B. Wayne, Debi Mitra, Jeffrey H. Barsuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aims of the study were to identify perceived barriers and facilitators to central venous catheter (CVC) insertion among healthcare providers and to understand the extent to which an existing Simulation-Based Mastery Learning (SBML) program may address barriers and leverage facilitators. Methods: Providers participating in a CVC insertion SBML train-the-trainer program, in addition to intensive care unit nurse managers, were purposively sampled from Veterans Administration Medical Centers located in geographically diverse areas. We conducted semistructured interviews to assess perceptions of barriers and facilitators to CVC insertion. Deidentified transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach and the constant comparative method. We subsequently mapped identified barriers and facilitators to our SBML curriculum to determine whether or not the curriculum addresses these factors. Results: We interviewed 28 providers at six Veterans Administration Medical Centers, identifying the following five overarching factors of perceived barriers to CVC insertion: (1) equipment, (2) personnel/staff, (3) setting or organizational context, (4) patient or provider, and (5) time-related barriers. Three overarching factors of facilitators emerged: (1) equipment, (2) personnel, and (3) setting or organizational context facilitators. The SBML curriculum seems to address most identified barriers, while leveraging many facilitators; building on the commonly identified facilitator of nursing staff contribution by expanding the curriculum to explicitly include nurse involvement could improve team efficiency and organizational culture of safety. Conclusions: Many identified facilitators (e.g., ability to use ultrasound, personnel confidence/competence) were also identified as barriers. Evidence-based SBML programs have the potential to amplify these facilitators while addressing the barriers by providing an opportunity to practice and master CVC insertion skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1296-E1306
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Central line–associated blood stream infections
  • Central venous catheter insertion
  • Simulation-based mastery learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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