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Simulation training crosses international borders

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While COVID-19 has closed Australia’s international borders and put the brakes on many projects, it is proving no barrier to Mater Education’s growth as a world leader in simulation training. 

In fact, the Mater Education team has expanded its influence, answering a call for help to launch a first of a kind simulation for a new university hospital that is being constructed in Brazil, South America. The simulation aims to future proof patient safety by testing the functionality of hospital facilities and potential scenarios and processes that hospital staff will face when it opens.

The team, led by Mater Education Program Coordinator Lauren Peters and Director of Clinical Education Stephanie Barwick, has been coaching and supporting the Brazilian simulation team from IMEPAC Araguari University Center since June during the construction phase of the new Sagrada Familia University hospital.

Lauren said they were approached to help by their collaborators at the Centre for Medical Simulation (CMS) in Boston.

“Making sure a new hospital is safe for patients is a huge task, but Mater Education has already had many successes in using translational simulation to prepare for all eventualities,” Lauren said.

“We worked with the Brazilian team to support a range of simulations such as testing room size and features to ensure everything was in the right place, to testing scenarios such as how patients would be transferred from their room to surgery.

“The benefits of conducting simulation testing in the construction phase allows for the identification of complications and implementation of improvements prior to the commissioning phase, reducing the need for costly rework.

“These simulations ensure the hospital is built to the best standard for staff and patients and ensures every patient gets the best possible experience from the first day the hospital opens.”

The Mater Education and CMS Boston teams held fortnightly Zoom meetings with the Brazilian team and provided them with OptiSim resources based on what has worked in Australian hospitals.

“We’re excited their first week of simulation testing went well and we’re continuing to support them with the reporting of their data. We’re also hoping to continue working with them as the hospital build progresses,” she said.

Coordinator Medicine IMEPAC, Professor Dr Henrique Pierotti Arantes thanked Mater Education for lending a helping hand.

“It’s been a wonderful experience to work with Mater Education and the OptiSim Program is amazing. We’ve completed sim-testing in the Adult ICU and Internal Medicine Ward and are happy and proud to be involved in such a valuable international collaboration,” Professor Dr Pierotti Arantes said.

“We are extremely grateful for Lauren and Stephanie’s time, commitment and help on this journey in sim-testing.”

The new Sagrada Familia University hospital is due to open in early 2022.

Testing room size and features ensured everything was in the right place, ready for the hospital opening in 2022.