New hospital passes 24 hour simulation stress test

Released On: 27/10/2015

Members of the community took part in a world-class simulation at Mater Private Hospital Springfield on 22 and 23 October 2015.

The event involved operating the hospital as a simulated hospital for a 24 hour period, with community volunteers acting as patients within the simulations.

Mater Education Programs Manager Melanie Barlow said the simulation was a significant event for the medical community globally.

“Mater Education has not found any simulation examples where the whole hospital has been put to the test using members of the community as patients. Other hospitals around the world use simulation mannequins to test patient flows in various areas of the hospital, as separate entities.”

“Mater Private Hospital Springfield’s simulation activity had theatres running, simulated patients in inpatient wards, the kitchen serving room service and administration staff working as they would in the operating hospital environment,” Ms Barlow said.

Simulation examples included peri-operative admissions through to discharge, including orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmic surgery, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery; deteriorating patients in post-operative, ward and radiology areas; a ‘walk-in’ to reception experiencing chest pain; a patient ordering a meal using Mater’s room service; and a transfer of a critically unwell patient to Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, in partnership with Queensland Ambulance Service.

All scenarios were run and repeated over four shifts with the inclusion of all clinical, hotel services and administration staff.

Mater Private Hospital Springfield Director Fritha Mackay said simulation within healthcare settings provided opportunities to test and evaluate processes prior to patient admissions.

“Conducting these process simulations is vital to the health and well-being of patients and the hospital community, providing opportunities for staff to perform effectively and efficiently in their new work environment and promote patient safety,” Ms Mackay said.

Mater Education's capability in education and simulation, with mentorship from the Center for Medical Simulation in Boston, makes the enormous, intricate operation possible.

Mater Private Hospital Springfield’s 24 hour simulation event will have numerous local, service-wide and research related impacts, placing Mater at the forefront of patient safety, efficient care delivery, simulation and education.