Intermountain opens high-tech simulation center

'To be able to simulate and practice together as teams can make us much more effective.'
By Bernie Monegain
10:20 AM
LDS Hospital

Intermountain Healthcare opened a state-of-the-art simulation center at its LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City this week. It's a place where doctors, nurses and healthcare staff can practice and perfect their skills while employing technology they will put to work for their patients in real medical situations.

The center is equipped with the most advanced simulation technology and allows staff the opportunity to develop and practice physical skills, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, and communication in a safe, realistic environment, Intermountain executives say.

The goal is to train and better prepare clinical care teams to deliver expert care when it's most needed. As Intermountain clinicians see it, practice makes perfect.

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"Medical simulation takes many different forms, but what is common to all of those is that we are using our technology to duplicate a situation that we will encounter in real life – when we're not playing for keeps," Bill Bininati, MD, in a video introducing the new center. "And, of course, we don't want to do that on a real person. We want to do that on a plastic person, where our mistakes make us better, and we can do it over and over again until there are no mistakes."

"To be able to simulate and practice together as teams can make us much more effective," added  Brent E. Wallace, MD. Our new simulation center … brings all our resources together in one place. We can simulate events that happen in any area of the hospital and also out into the home."

"You leave with just that sigh of relief: 'I did it,' and because of this I'm a better nurse," said Megan Johnson, RN.

[See also: Intermountain, Deloitte put data to work.]

With its advanced medical center, Intermountain joins the ranks of other premiere institutions such as Duke University and Johns Hopkins

The simulation center, aimed at increasing patient safety and improving clinical outcomes through hands-on simulated scenarios, will help train current and future healthcare professionals.

The Intermountain Simulation Center will be open to the public the following day, Aug. 26, from 1 to 9 p.m. as part of a community open house.