The use of tissue models for vascular access training

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Following the Institute of Medicine report “To Err is Human,” the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identified proper central venous catheter (CVC) insertion techniques and wide sterile barriers (WSB) as 2 major quality indicators for patients safety. However, no standard currently exists to teach proper procedural techniques to physicians.


To determine whether our nonhuman tissue model is an effective tool for teaching physicians proper wide sterile barrier technique, ultrasound guidance for CVC placement, and sharps safety.


Educational sessions were organized for physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Participants had a hands-on opportunity to practice procedural skills using a nonhuman tissue model, under the direct supervision of experienced proceduralists.


An anonymous survey was distributed to participants both before and after training, measuring their reactions to all aspects of the educational sessions relative to their prior experience level.


The sessions were rated highly worthwhile, and statistically significant improvements were seen in comfort levels with ultra-sound-guided vascular access and WSB (P<.001). Given the revitalized importance of patient safety and the emphasis on reducing medical errors, further studies on the utility of nonhuman tissue models for procedural training should be enthusiastically pursued.

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