Northwell Health Recognized for Simulation Lab Learning

Some of the 23 “patients” at the Patient Safety Institute (PSI) at Northwell Health have been there for nearly 11 years. They’ve been poked, prodded and assessed by nurses, physician assistants, medical residents, doctors, medical students and other caregivers on a daily basis.

Along the way, these patients – pricey anatomically correct mannequins that simulate real-world health conditions in newborns, children, adults and even a pregnant woman – have saved countless lives through invaluable learning experiences for the medical staff of Northwell.

For that reason, PSI recently received a Pinnacle Award for Collaboration in Education for its leadership contribution to the development of standards and practices in simulation-based learning in medical education. The award is sponsored by Laerdal Medical, maker of the simulation technology used at PSI.

Northwell is one of four recipients of the award in the Northeast, including Hartford Hospital Simulation Center, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

At PSI, which is part of Northwell Health’s Center for Learning and Innovation in Lake Success, NY, healthcare providers can improve their techniques and teamwork in simulated hospital scenarios using specially equipped rooms with audio visual technology. As they work on a mannequin that’s been afflicted with a medical condition or injury, teaching staff and peers watch from behind one-way glass in the simulation lab.

Those taking part in the learning exercise get debriefed afterward using video to evaluate the experience.

“We will talk about what went well in the case, what didn’t go well in the case and why. This is the power of what we do,” said Robert Kerner, Jr., director of the Patient Safety Institute. “We’ll be evaluating their ability to work with one another, their ability to communicate with the patient and their ability to solve the medical puzzle.”

PSI has 22 rooms used for training, complete with adjoining audio visual rooms for observation. On average, each room costs about $100,000 to equip. More than 48,000 hours of learning were logged by Northwell employees at PSI in 2014 alone.

“Northwell considers this an investment in our patients and staff,” said Kathleen Gallo, RN, PhD, senior vice president and chief learning officer for the health system.