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Click here for a photo of a training session in the STRATUS human patient simulation laboratory
With the opening of the STRATUS Center for medical simulation on February 26, BWH ushered in a new era in its distinguished history in medical education. The Simulation, Training, Resuscitation and Technology Utilization System, or STRATUS Center, located within the Department of Emergency Medicine on the first floor of the Neville House at 10 Vining Street, is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, computer software and technology designed to provide real-to-life simulation of a variety of medical emergencies. STRATUS combines a computerized “micro-simulation” laboratory, an advanced skills training laboratory, and a dual human patient simulation laboratory into a single facility dedicated to providing medical professionals with comprehensive training based on realistic simulations of emergency conditions, bio- and chemical terrorism, and trauma.
According to Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, BWH president, at the ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house, the center is a reflection of BWH’s commitment to excellence. “STRATUS is yet another vision that became a reality in our journey to become the leader in patient safety. STRATUS will allow us to look at unique ways to prevent medical errors and, at the most basic level, question what is the best way to deliver care – this is at the core of our value system. It is who we are and who we have to be.”
At the STRATUS open house, Emergency Medicine residents and BWH Emergency Department (ED) nurses and staff led demonstrations and walked visitors through a variety of emergency and critical care scenarios allowing those interested to experience emergency training first-hand within the three laboratories of the center. The first, dedicated to procedure training, uses sophisticated manikins that allow trainees to learn and practice simulated medical procedures, such as intubations and IV insertions. The second, a micro-simulation computer laboratory, provides trainees with amazingly “real” ED and pre-hospital simulation scenarios that emulate the actual physiologic changes that patients undergo during critical injury or illness and resuscitation. The third laboratory leverages a specially designed human patient simulator operated by state-of-the-art software to provide interactive, team-based training on “real” patients in two resuscitation rooms that are virtually identical to the resuscitation bays in the Alpha Unit of BWH’s ED.
STRATUS began as the brainchild of Ron M. Walls, MD, chairman of Emergency Medicine at BWH and Charles Pozner, MD, medical director of the STRATUS Center.
More than a year ago, Walls said the idea became a reality when he sketched out the concept on a napkin for a potential donor. At the center’s opening, Walls said, “Even though I’ve seen this center develop from a concept to a reality and have watched our dedicated staff piece it together from scratch, when I walk by a training session, I still forget it is a simulation.” Walls explained that the realism manufactured by the center’s various mechanisms, allows trainees to encounter real-world stress and to learn the ability to make good clinical decisions despite such stress. “The center’s unique mechanisms bring together computer simulation and task training for repeat training for residents in high-stress scenarios, without jeopardizing patient safety.”
In addition to providing information about the center, Walls expressed deep gratitude for the support the center received, including the initial donation from the estate of Aron and Celia Steinberg, as well as a generous training and research grant from the AS Laerdal Foundation. More than eight resuscitation device manufacturing companies have provided additional grants of equipment, software, and personnel support.
Pozner expressed gratitude for the support from the other departments at BWH, stating, “STRATUS is an asset for the entire hospital, and we look forward to working with many of our colleagues to enhance the training of their personnel.”
According to Stephen Nelson, REMT-P, program director for STRATUS, BWH departments can work with the center’s staff to create tailored training, capitalizing on the integrated approach that is facilitated by the three simulation labs.
For more information, contact Nelson at 617-525-7274.