Use of simulation-based education to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections

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373 Scopus citations


Background: Simulation-based education improves procedural competence in central venous catheter (CVC) insertion. The effect of simulation-based education in CVC insertion on the incidence of catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine if simulation-based training in CVC insertion reduces CRBSI. Methods: This was an observational education cohort study set in an adult intensive care unit (ICU) in an urban teaching hospital. Ninety-two internal medicine and emergency medicine residents completed a simulation-based mastery learning program in CVC insertion skills. Rates of CRBSI from CVCs inserted by residents in the ICU before and after the simulation-based educational intervention were compared over a 32-month period. Results: There were fewer CRBSIs after the simulator-trained residents entered the intervention ICU (0.50 infections per 1000 catheter-days) compared with both the same unit prior to the intervention (3.20 per 1000 catheter-days) (P=.001) and with another ICU in the same hospital throughout the study period (5.03 per 1000 catheter-days) (P=.001). Conclusions: An educational intervention in CVC insertion significantly improved patient outcomes. Simulation-based education is a valuable adjunct in residency education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1423
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 10 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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