Banner’s Simulation Hospital: Creating a Buzz around Patient Care
Jonas Fridrichsen, Senior Account Manager, HealthStream
An undeniable buzz has been growing in recent years around simulation-based training in healthcare. A recent trip to Banner Health’s Simulation Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, convinced me that with equal parts of foresight, sponsorship, execution, and passion, it’s possible to turn this buzz into an integrated part of an organization’s culture.
Banner’s entry into the simulation world came from a multitude of catalysts; one in particular was the disparity in depth and breadth across their hospitals’ new hire orientation programs. The thought was that immersing new hires in a simulated environment during orientation would produce a reduction in time to competence, more standardization in their practice, a healthy ROI, and ultimately, better outcomes.
With a high degree of executive-level backing, an outdated hospital was converted into a 55,000 sq. ft simulation center containing staged ED, Med/Surg, ICU, and L&D units and filled with 50+ simulators and patient beds. Other elements include:
- 250+ simulations (or scenarios), developed in-house and based on internal policies and procedures, as well as selected clinical resources
- Beds equipped with individual audio/video equipment that allows an educator to record and debrief on every simulation
- Assorted floor layouts, supplies, medical devices, and technologies are used to further simulate the patient interactions and workflows that a new hire will encounter in their day-to-day practice
Apart from the rich educational experience, Banner uses several methods of data analysis to quantify the impact of this venture. As a result, some exciting discoveries have validated simulation’s positive impact on time spent in training and general performance measures. Banner has also found that their Simulation Medical Center is a great environment to pilot new devices and polices before they are instituted house-wide. To date, over 2,000 RNs have gone through the center, and the reviews have been glowing. Plans are currently in place to begin incorporating physicians and pharmacists into the program in hopes of fostering better collaboration across the care continuum and exploring the impact that simulation training could have on those audiences as well.
While new technologies and training methodologies progress, at the core of every new innovation is the desire to improve patient care. Given their successes, Banner has created their own buzz around simulation that’s prompting other healthcare organizations to model their strategy. From the outside looking in, it’s a model worth following for the sake of better patient care.
A special thanks to Banner’s Terry Chavez and Carol Noe Cheney for their time and passion while acting as tour guides!
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