Preparing for Emergencies in the EP Lab

Need

The Electrophysiology Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where patients are tested, diagnosed and treated for arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), needed to become better prepared for the rare situation where a patient needs to be urgently transferred to the OR.

Intervention

The Lab asked STRATUS to develop a simulation to aid in creating standard procedures and reliable processes for transferring a patient to the OR. STRATUS developed a model to replicate the targeted emergency. Although lab staff knew they were going to be participating in a simulation, they didn’t know the elements of the case or why it was being done. Nobody else in the hospital was alerted about the simulation, so they did everything they would normally do to get the patient transferred. Observers were set up in critical locations to identify breakdowns in the process and opportunities for improvement.

Impact

Observers of the simulation identified 19 opportunities for improvement in the process, which the Lab has since implemented. These issues could not have been identified without the opportunity to carefully observe the process unfold during a real clinical situation. Because this urgent circumstance is rare, this was best achieved through the use of simulation.

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