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78 Safer catheter care: using simulation to reduce avoidable harm in patients with catheters
  1. M McDonnell1,
  2. C Laws-Chapman1,
  3. M Lavelle2
  1. 1Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  2. 2King’s College London, UK


Safer catheter care is a focus for quality improvement in healthcare. Catheter associated urinary tract infections are a major cause of bacteraemia and are often avoidable. The Safer Catheter Care course was designed to increase knowledge of catheter care and support a pan-London catheter care improvement programme in collaboration with the Health Innovation Network South London.

Methodology A half-day simulation course consisting of a catheter knowledge workshop and two clinical scenarios, adaptable to hospital or community settings. The scenarios are followed by a structured debrief. Objectives are to improve knowledge of safer catheter care, raise awareness of the catheter passport document, and to relate practice to non-technical skills.

Results A significant increase in self-reported knowledge and confidence in catheter care (p 0.03, 0.05 respectively) was found. Self-efficacy also increased, however not significantly. Qualitative information reported by learners suggest learning themes around non-technical skills and catheter care. Follow-up questionnaires to participants are currently being circulated to examine sustained learning.

Potential impact The course was designed to support a quality improvement and patient safety initiative and has led to significant increases in self-reported knowledge and confidence.

Evaluation comments identified a misconception amongst learners that the course would cover catheter insertion, and showed a varied level of experience in caring for catheters. The advert was redesigned making the course aims explicit, with the course structure changed to include a catheter care workshop.

These factors may have contributed to changes in self-efficacy being non-significant. The course design, covering a half-day session, may also have an impact. This short format could present learners with an opportunity to explore their limitations without providing the time to practice and apply identified non-technical skills.

A possible future design for the course is therefore in extending the format and increasing learning opportunities within simulated scenarios and debriefs.

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