Mandatory central line training aimed at increasing patient safety

New standardized training on how to effectively place central lines using ultrasound is aimed at improving patient safety and quality of care at Augusta University Health.

Residents and fellows who insert the lines, which are placed into a large vein and used to give medicines, fluids, nutrients, or blood products over a long period of time, will be required to attend a mandatory grand rounds training session at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 in the Lee Auditorium. After training, they will be divided into smaller groups and be tested using a cadaver model in the gross anatomy lab. After demonstrating correct placement, they will be certified to place lines throughout the hospital. Those who don’t “pass” will have to be remediated until they do.

“There is always a risk associated with placing a central line,” says Dr. Matt Lyon, director of the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Center for Ultrasound Education and Research. “And even using ultrasound incorrectly can make matters worse. But by using it correctly, that risk is dramatically decreased.”

Augusta University Health is one of the first health systems in the nation to combine ultrasound training and required testing on a cadaver model, which required months of preparation, Lyon says.

“We even had to come up with a unique cadaver model,” he says. “Because traditionally, the veins in cadavers are flat, but we obviously need them open for this type of training.”

This training is just one part of a larger effort to make patients safer, says Chief Patient Safety Officer, Dr. Phillip Coule. “This is an opportunity to continue to create and reinforce a culture of safety throughout the hospital.”

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Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jennifer Hilliard Scott is Senior Communications Coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-8604 or

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Written by Jennifer Hilliard Scott

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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