Simulation Lab Focused on Patient Safety

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 20, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– It’s the future of training and it’s happening at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The ability for physicians to recreate medical scenarios so that they can practice the latest treatments before operating on you or your child. Most medical students are already using it and now the hospital wants to make it available for all their medical staff.

FOX 17 was there as a team of nurses and physicians went through their latest training on an eight month old mannequin baby.

“This was a kid that had a respiratory illness; one of our most common reasons for admissions here,” said  Dr. Leslie Jurecko, a physician at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “All of a sudden, the baby had bad vital signs. So low respiratory rate, low heart rate and a low blood pressure. So the nurse called a code blue, or a code and the team came rushing in.”

Helen DeVos is one of just a handful of children’s hospitals across the U.S. to have the actual space to house this simulation suite, complete with a control room and an observation room.

It’s this type of program that’s not only aimed at improving training for its medical staff, but helping improve patient safety as well.

“We actually reduced the amount of harm to our patients by over 90% over the last seven years,” said Dr. Robert Connors, President of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “That’s a very big deal. Not many hospitals can say that.”

Whether it’s giving an IV or practicing a new technique like resuscitation, this zero risk environment lets staff practice high risk situations before it should ever really happen.

“Parents should be reassured that we’re doing this on a simulated mannequin and not having our first contact with something like this on one of their children,” added Dr. Jurecko.

The hospital plans to create curriculums around these simulations in which medical staff will have to be certified with in order to continue working at the hospital.