A 3,000 square foot pediatric simulation lab is now open at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. (June 20, 2013)
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A new pediatric simulation suite has been introduced at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. It simulates real-life patient care scenarios through the use of computerized mannequins.
The 3,000 square foot space allows health care providers the opportunity to practice and improve their skills, as well as strengthen teamwork and communication among physicians, nurses, paramedics, and other medical professionals.
Hospital Director of Quality and Safety Leslie Jurecko says the extra practice is vital in the medical field.
"With everything we do in everyday life, we anticipate and we practice, that is just how humans are made," says Leslie Jurecko, who is the Director of Quality and Safety at the hospital. "So when we are put in this complex medical system, we have to keep our staff practicing."
She says the computerized mannequins each have a pulse and can demonstrate over 50 conditions, such as respiratory issues, ranging from seizures to rapid heart rates. Jurecko says doctors can practice operations such as putting in IVs, inserting lumbar punctures, or CPR.
During a simulation last week, an infant mannequin suffered a "code blue" respiratory crash. A medical team performed a variety of medical procedures and saved the infant.
Jurecko says the simulations help medical teams realize the areas that need improvement.
"Could we have done better?" Jurecko asks. "If there is something that we can do better, we are not going to find out until you actually run a scenario and practice."
Besides education and training, Robert Connors, the president of the hospital, says one of his goals is to be the safest children's hospital in the country and the world.
"We realize we had to be training all of our caregivers in these special kind of situations so we can anticipate harm because we do not want these things to happen in our hospital anymore, and for the most part, they don't," Connors says.
Connors says the hospital has reduced its harm on patients by 90 percent in the last seven years, and he hopes the simulation will continue this trend.