5 things you need to know about health care simulation

Posted by MEDNAX on Sep 16, 2019 12:51:28 PM
4 minute read

Updated September 2, 2020
More than 1,500 patient caregivers nationwide have participated in the MEDNAX Simulation Program since it was introduced in January 2016. Using manikins during staged clinical events, these exercises give clinicians the ability to work through real-case scenarios in a safe environment. 


Here are 5 things you need to know about health care simulation.

1. The benefits of simulation go beyond clinical skills.

Enhancing clinical skill is an obvious benefit, but the impact of simulation is far reaching. Simulation can help improve clinical skills, communication and team dynamics; it can also shed light on process or systems gaps.

“Since all these areas impact patient outcomes, incorporating simulation makes sense,” says Díana Galvis, MBA, Senior Manager, HRO Patient Safety and Simulation.

2. Not all programs are created equal.

Simulation programs are accredited through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. The MEDNAX Simulation Program has earned full accreditation status from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in the area of Teaching/Education from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2025. Many members of our team have also received voluntary certifications that contribute to the overall success of the program, including Health Simulation Educator, Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist and Distinguished CHEST Educator certifications. This places us in select group of global simulation programs with fully certified staff.

An added benefit of our program is our incorporation of immediate feedback, called Rapid-cycle Deliberate Practice (RCDP) simulation. A traditional simulation exercise provides a debrief at the end of the exercise. During RCDP, the trainer stops the simulation experience during any misstep, reviews what went wrong and how to successfully complete the process. Since RCDP was incorporated in June 2018, the MEDNAX simulation team has seen a nearly 200 percent increase in utilization and RCDP requests.

3. Simulation “patients” (manikins) range from basic to complex.

It’s important to identify the best manikin to meet the needs of the simulation program and participants.

Our program offers the most advanced neonatal simulation manikin currently available – the High Emotion Preterm Simulator, Paul. Paul is a preterm baby of 27 weeks gestation who provides the most realistic representation of an extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infant. Paul can depict several different conditions common in ELBW infants, such as pathological breathing patterns and pneumothorax. He also has the most realistic anatomy including a 3D printed larynx based on real-life preterm MRI scans.

4. Simulation can be used to address virtually any situation.

The MEDNAX Simulation Program curriculum covers a broad range of “pre-built” simulation scenarios spanning a variety of specialties and areas of focus including education, communication, patient safety and quality improvement. All scenarios are developed by multidisciplinary staff with input from physicians and advanced practice providers. Practices can tap into this library or request a customized case.

“There are no limits to what we can do with our program,” says Dr. Jaclyn LeVan, National Quality and Safety Director of Simulation. “We can build a simulation exercise from scratch to meet a practice’s or hospital’s specific needs. Once we develop a new case, it becomes part of our library so other practices can take advantage of it.”

5. “In situ” simulation programs make sense.

In situ means the simulation exercise is held in place, eliminating errors related to unfamiliarity (for example, if the simulation exercise took place in a simulation center). In situ programs give participants an opportunity to react in their normal environment and allows them to tap into the equipment, people and policies are typical of their local facility. There’s no better way to provide a realistic experience than in the clinicians’ real setting.

With practices across the country, it was important for MEDNAX to create a fully mobile program.

“The benefits go beyond the convenience factor,” says Gillian Gonzaba, APRN NNP-C, Associate Director, HRO Patient Safety and Simulation. “The team can focus on the task at hand and won’t be distracted or slowed down by a new environment or unfamiliar resources.”

To learn more, contact us at simulation@mednax.com or visit us at mednax.com/simulation.


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Topics: Education, Simulation