Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is a priority quality metric for hospitals. The impact of placement of indwelling urinary catheter (IUC) by medical students on CAUTI rates is not well known. This study examined the impact of a simulation-based medical student education curriculum on CAUTI rates at an academic medical center.
Patient characteristics, procedural data, and outcome data from all operating room IUC insertions from June 2011 through December 2016 at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine were analyzed using a multivariable model to evaluate associations between CAUTI and inserting provider. Infection data before and after implementation of a simulation-based IUC competency course for medical students were compared.
A total of 57,328 IUC insertions were recorded during the study period. Medical students inserted 12.6% (7,239) of IUCs. Medical students had the lowest overall rate of CAUTI among all providers during the study period (medical students: 0.05%, resident/fellows: 0.2%, attending physicians: 0.3%, advanced practice clinicians: 0.1%, nurses: 0.2%; P = .003). Further, medical student IUC placement was not associated with increased odds of CAUTI in multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 0.411; 95% confidence interval: 0.122, 1.382; P = .15). Implementation of a simulation-based curriculum for IUC insertion resulted in complete elimination of CAUTI in patients catheterized by medical students (0 in 3,471).
IUC insertion can be safely performed by medical students in the operating room. Simulation-based skills curricula for medical students can be effectively implemented and achieve clinically relevant improvements in patient outcomes.