The Intermountain Simulation Facilitator Course, held quarterly, teaches clinicians how to implement simulation training with their teams as a way to improve clinical outcomes. The course has been popular for teams from across the Intermountain Healthcare system, the nation, and world-wide, with the latest class including attendees from Utah, Wisconsin, and Ecuador.
Simulation training involves simulating patient care scenarios so caregivers can practice how they'd respond. Simulation aims to increase patient safety and improve clinical outcomes through hands-on scenarios that mimic real-life settings.
"We use advanced simulation technology to help staff develop and practice physical skills, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, and communication in a safe, realistic environment," said Jared Henricksen, MD, Intermountain's Simulation Consortium medical director. "We often use robotic mannequins that mimic health conditions and respond to treatment methods, as well as actors in moulage — makeup that simulates injuries — as part of the training. Simulations allows caregivers to practice in a low-risk environment with close supervision and guidance from instructors."
"The Simulation Facilitator Course teaches caregivers how to effectively conduct simulation trainings, covering a wide range of topics like setting up scenarios, applying moulage makeup, and facilitating team debriefs," said Dr. Henricksen.
Louisa Franco, MD, and Andrea Betancourt, MD, came for Intermountain's simulation facilitator training last month from Hospital de Niños Dr. Roberto Gilbert in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where they plan to establish their own simulation training program based on what they've learned here.
"They're already doing simulations there and they want to improve, and it's nice to see how Intermountain is helping them do that," said Lloyd Jensen, MD, a pediatrician at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital. Dr. Jensen has traveled to Ecuador several times with LDS Charities to help train clinicians, and is now helping establish a simulation center there.
"One of their goals is to get people from all over Ecuador to come to their sim center for training," Dr. Jensen said. "It's been wonderful to see their enthusiasm to come be a part of this."
Dr. Betancourt said, "I've had some experience, but this course has really helped me know what to do in certain situations. It's given me a better idea of how to respond in hard situations. I know how to improve and how to teach others. This will help not just in simulations, but in actual clinical settings — giving us more ability to take care of patients better."
Dr. Franco said, "You don't know how much impact you'll have when you take this course. This is important. We're excited to go replicate and teach others what we've learned."
For the first time, this year's course included a simulation completely in Spanish so the Ecuadorians could get simulation experience in their native language. Multiple bilingual Intermountain caregivers participated.
Nancy Bardugon, Intermountain's Simulation Consortium director, said, "We're so excited that they can take what they've learned here and influence so many people in South America. It's really powerful."
In addition to the South American delegation, Mike Uihlein, MD, traveled to Utah from Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to complete Intermountain's course. He plans to use the lessons he learned to train emergency medicine residents from the Medical College of Wisconsin, as well as VA emergency teams across the state.
"I knew how high quality the teaching was here and wanted to come and take advantage of your great program," Dr. Uihlein said. "The techniques I've learned here will really help improve communication not only in simulations, but in real care environments."
Physicians, nurses, and educators from across the Intermountain system also attended the training course to learn how to start using simulation training with their teams.
Intermountain has 11 simulation spaces around its system, the largest of which is located at LDS Hospital. Intermountain has used simulation for more than a decade and received accreditation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in 2016.
A video of Intermountain Healthcare’s Simulation Center can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGgRvmbGMwc
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 170 clinics, a Medical Group with about 2,300 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health plans group called SelectHealth, and other medical services. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare through high quality and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org.