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Simulation and Why it Matters: Money and Mistakes

For Simulation Week, Intelligent Video Solutions discusses what exactly is simulation in all aspects of improving workflows in healthcare.

I am guessing you’ve heard the word “simulation” or even participated in some sort of simulation and, even if think you haven’t, you probably have. When I ask people what simulation is everyone immediately jumps to high fidelity manikins, which are essentially the manikins that act like you and I to make scenarios more realistic. But did you know simulation is also working with a standardized patient on how to communicate effectively? How about working with an IV arm on how to correctly insert an IV aseptically?

As someone who’s worked in simulation for more than 6 years, I’ve learned simulation is anything that increases the realism of education or training. It’s used in hospitals, police departments, and even construction. It may include one person, a team, or even a whole organization.

I currently work in healthcare where I see the benefits of simulation in almost every aspect of our work. From patient care, to building a new clinic, simulation improves the work we do and in turn saves our organization money in the long run.

Many of you have likely seen or heard of simulation within patient care, so let’s start with simulation for building a new clinic.

At the start of the process simulation is used virtually when trying to determine the blueprint of the building. Where do you want the entrance? How many bathrooms will you need? What will the flow of traffic be? And it doesn’t stop there. Once the blueprint is done and building begins, furniture, equipment and supplies must be purchased. Where do you put that chair so it is not in the way of the patient in the wheelchair? Where do you put the blood pressure cuff, so you do not need to lean over the patient to reach it?

Yes, you may be able to determine all this information with the correct stakeholders at the table, but what if you don’t have the one person that may think of the one scenario that may happen?

This is when simulation becomes important. Use simulation virtually to visually see how the workflow will function on the blueprint. Use simulation to bring in a standardized patient and staff to walk through the space in a real-life scenario to properly place furniture, equipment, and supplies.

Now back to patient care.

I could talk about simulation within patient care until I’m blue in the face, but essentially it should be used to improve quality and productivity.

It should be used to improve skills such as ultrasound, foley placement, airway placement, central line training, correct needle placement, and so much more.

It should also be used to improve productivity by making staff efficient, confident, and uniform.

If simulation is done correctly, especially in the patient care or construction examples, it will save your organization money.

Essentially it will save you mistakes. It will save you lawsuits. It will save you remodeling something just built. And most importantly it will save the patients.

So why aren’t we using simulation more? Because we should be.

If you’re considering simulation to save your organization from costly mistakes, check out this guide to a key component of simulation-based training:


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Our software empowers users to increase the effectiveness of their programs by leveraging the power of video. With over 15 years of experience, the team at Intelligent Video Solutions is dedicated to delivering excellence and can meet any challenge.
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