Stratus Comes to Life
New Facility Reflects BWH’s Commitment to Excellence
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, opened its doors for the first time in February, with a ribbon cutting and interactive open house.
The center 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 terrorism, and trauma.
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 chest tube 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.
“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,” said Ron M. Walls, MD, chairman, Emergency Medicine at BWH, who 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.”
An initial donation from the estate of Aron and Celia Steinberg, as well as a generous training and research grant from the AS Laerdal Foundation, have been vital to the center becoming a reality. More than eight resuscitation device manufacturing companies have provided additional grants of equipment, software, and personnel support.
Charles Pozner, MD, medical director of the center, 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.”
BWH department chairs or division chiefs are welcome to contact Stephen Nelson, REMT-P, STRATUS’ program director, to work with the center’s staff to create tailored training, capitalizing on the integrated approach that is facilitated by the three simulation labs. Contact Nelson at 617-525-7274.