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Mater Mothers’ Pregnancy Assessment Centre Simulation


In the lead up to the opening of the Pregnancy Assessment Centre (PAC) at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital at the end of April 2017, Mater Education organised a range of simulations that were undertaken over three days to test and evaluate processes prior to patient admissions.

Melanie Barlow, Mater Education Director Simulation and executive member of the Australian Society of Simulation in Healthcare, said simulations are a vital part of the opening of any new service.

“These simulations use specifically trained Mater volunteers as the patients and clinicians who will be working in the centre, to replicate and manage a range of patient presentations,” Ms Barlow said.

“We deliver a range of simulation programs where students and clinicians can practice complex clinical scenarios that encourage high levels of clinical competence, critical thinking, teamwork and quality decision-making.”

Experienced staff monitor the simulations to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that the patient’s journey through a new service and the hospital system fulfil Mater’s philosophy of exceptional care every time.

The simulations tested a range of possible presentations to PAC including bleeding in early pregnancy, miscarriage and decreased fetal movements. Additionally the team worked alongside the administration services to specifically  test their processes to ensure the patients journey is as seamless as possible.

The Pregnancy Assessment Centre’s team worked in partnership with the Mater Education Practice Improvement Centre to develop and conduct a range of simulations which are relevant for their service, including a simulation re-enactment for media.

“Here at Mater Education, we’re lucky to have access to world-class clinical simulation facilities like the Mater Education Practice Improvement Centre, where healthcare students and clinicians can safely practice challenging aspects of patient care, using either computer-controlled mannequins or trained actors as patients”, Ms Barlow said.

In 2014 Mater Education formalised an Affiliate Partnership with the world renowned Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) in Boston, USA. The partnership sees Mater Education co-deliver highly sought-after CMS courses for clinicians and educators interested in developing their knowledge and skills in using Simulation as a Teaching Tool and Advanced Debriefing.

Mater undertakes process testing simulations as part of its preparation to ensure any new service or new clinical area is ready to provide optimal care to patients.