Central venous catheter care takes a great deal of dexterity, so much so that some clinicians at Westchester Medical Center’s dialysis clinic say it “takes three hands,” said Renee Garrick, MD, a nephrologist and executive medical director at the center. Yet interruptions during this critical procedure are common—raising the risk of an infection control breach.
Garrick spoke during a webinar hosted by Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety (NTDS), ASN’s partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Understanding how such disruptions in critical procedures affect infection control in dialysis settings is one important part of NTDS, which is working with the CDC to target a goal of zero dialysis-related infections. To help achieve this goal, NTDS engaged human factors engineering researchers to assess infection control practices at six outpatient dialysis facilities across the United States to find ways to improve them.
“We can’t necessarily change the human condition, but what we can do is change the conditions in which humans work,” said Sarah Henrickson Parker, PhD, senior director of the Center for Simulation, Research, and Patient Safety at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, which is conducting the research. The clinic is part of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
“Human factors and system safety [engineering] is really focused on trying to understand all those aspects of the system that are influencing how people do their job and take that human capability and limitation into account to actually redesign work so that it is safer,” Parker said.