March 2, 2012
From the Winter 2012 edition of InsideHealthcare:
A healthcare provider is receiving a man in a hospital emergency room who has displayed signs of a seizure-related illness. But before he can be admitted, he falls to the floor and begins experiencing a full-blown seizure. The provider at first is uncertain as to the course of action, and valuable moments are lost. But before the patient is too incapacitated, he suddenly stops and sits up. Fortunately, it turns out he is an actor in a medical simulation training facility.
The provider is called to a video screen, where the exchange and seizure is played back for debriefing and evaluation with software and hardware provided by Education Management Solutions (EMS). “This is all part of the learning process – it is a not a real-life scenario,” President and CEO Anurag Singh points out. “The best way for individuals to learn is to self-reflect and be debriefed by an instructor who facilitates the process of self-reflection instead of just pointing out issues and errors. The self-reflection process is amazing. It reinforces better understanding and learning than somebody simply telling you what you did right or wrong. The key to reducing patient risk is through repetitive task training and self-reflection.
“Consistent team training can also improve performance and technical skills, ensuring the high standards of care delivery required by both hospital administrators and patients,” Singh adds. “Poor communication between multi-disciplinary teams is one of the leading causes of medical errors adversely affecting patient outcomes. This can even lead to lawsuits and escalating costs. Knowing how to work well as a team can be crucial to reducing medical errors and improving patient safety. There's no panacea for eliminating mistakes, but a starting point is clearly communication, which can be addressed through simulation.”
With malpractice insurance premiums continually rising, anything that can keep those costs down is crucial for healthcare facilities. This is one of the reasons behind the fast growth of medical simulation systems for training healthcare workers. “Malpractice insurance programs are already taking that into account,” Singh notes. “A hospital could benefit from a reduction in malpractice insurance because some of its employees participate in simulation training. That's a huge benefit for the hospital. Simulation training is a trend that is already taking shape in hospitals, and it will become more commonplace in the near future.”
EMS develops software that medical, nursing and allied health schools, hospitals and counseling programs use to run their clinical simulation training facilities efficiently. The company’s products are used for training and evaluation at more than 180 centers worldwide. In addition to medical and nursing schools, hospitals, allied health programs and counseling centers, EMS software also is used by national boards of testing and government facilities.