The Herman Trend Alert
February 21, 2018
Using Simulation to Teach Healthcare
Imagine a whole building devoted to helping employees, residents, and physicians advance their skills and learn the latest medical techniques so that they would be equipped to deliver the best possible care to patients. People who are fortunate enough to work for Memorial Health System in Springfield, Illinois do not have to imagine; they have the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.
Four floors devoted to teaching and innovation
Some years ago, when our author Joyce Gioia was onsite to deliver The Employer of Choice® Award, she toured the building under construction and the word she kept saying was, "Wow". She was impressed not only by the 72,000 square feet, but also by the state-of-the art facility. Even the "traditional classrooms", where the health system teaches employee and leadership development courses, featured the latest in audio and video technologies.
A safe place to practice caring for patients
On highlight of The Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation is their state-of-the art simulation center. It offers students and healthcare professionals the opportunity to develop their skills through practice and skills training. Simulated settings include a nursing station, a patient care room (identical to the inpatient hospital setting), an operating room, an emergency treatment and trauma room, a dual purpose intensive care and labor/delivery room, a physician exam room, an outdoor ambulance setting, and even a home setting featuring a kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom. Why the home setting? The facility is also designed to teach emergency personnel like EMTs and paramedics. The patient home allows a full simulation of the continuum of care from the 911 call, transport by ambulance, arrival in the Emergency Room, and then directed to the appropriate location, based on assessment.
A simulation suite for surgeons
Created in partnership with the Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine, the Surgical Skills Laboratory allows residents and physicians to stay on the cutting-edge (pun intended) of practice and technology through simulation, with laparoscopic trainers, virtual reality, and cadaver work, using their surgical skills. There is also a professional development lab for use in training current and future physicians, that includes standardized patients and real-world scenarios.
Other extras round out the building
Of course, Memorial's Center for Learning and Innovation also includes numerous classrooms and other meeting spaces, including debrief rooms for viewing and discussing pre- and post-simulations. It has an auditorium and a large classroom with tiered seating. Moreover, there is good nutritious food, available right at The Food for Thought Cafe, which features specialty sandwiches, salads, and flatbread pizzas. Plus, the building has its own medical library.
A model for others
Memorial's Center for Learning and Innovation provides a wonderful role model for other health systems to emulate. However, we would expect nothing less from a health system that has consistently earned the The Employer of Choice® Award for years. Kudos to Memorial for this state-of-the-art teaching facility. While there are only few centers like this one in the United States, we expect to see them in other countries very soon.
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