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Sim Training Saves Lives


December 30, 2019 - Hospital Family Story, Stories

Patient safety is the focus of the Osler Simulation Program

“I’m worried about his blood pressure dropping, what should we do?” Two emergency room physicians, three nurses, a respiratory therapist and a paramedic surround the patient—a simulation manikin built to mimic the responses of an actual patient in distress.

This high-stakes situation is played out as part of the monthly Simulation Training Program held at Osler’s hospitals. The training puts Osler’s Emergency Department one step ahead and gives physicians and nurses the chance to practise rare and challenging scenarios with the goal of managing crisis effectively.

On average, there are more than 2,500 resuscitations conducted in Emergency Departments across Canada each year. Open communication and coordinated care—from wheeling an ultrasound machine into the room to delegating a team member to monitor the patient’s airway passage—makes practicing the rhythm of these events critical, while ensuring that patient safety remains top priority.

Unique to each training session is that participants are recorded on video. They then play back the video during a debrief session where participants reflect on their actions and feedback is provided on leadership, communication, situational awareness, and how to avoid common cognitive errors.

“Ultimately, when we think about why we should do simulation, it’s all about finding better ways to care for our patients, while reducing burnout in our health care staff,” says Dr. Hanzla Tariq, Emergency Room Physician, Brampton Civic Hospital, who co-leads the training sessions with Dr. Vaquas Shaikh, Emergency Room Physician, Brampton Civic Hospital.

Osler is especially unique as it is one of the few community hospitals in the GTA to have an accredited, multidisciplinary simulation program.

More than 25 training sessions have been conducted over the past three years, and Dr. Tariq and Dr. Shaikh plan to offer more sessions in the near future as demand continues to grow.