Stanford Children’s Expands Simulation Innovation Center to Enhance Skills, Confidence, and Teamwork

Ever wonder what it takes to deliver a baby? Or how medical professionals learn how to respond to heart attacks? In health care, being prepared for any situation is critical. The expansion of the new Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Simulation Innovation Center is able to provide more hands-on health care training for health care professionals and improve care for young patients and pregnant women.

Grand Opening of the Stanford Children’s new Innovation Center in Menlo Park, Calif.

The new, 4,900-square-foot simulation center provides even more space for health care teams—including nurses, physicians, and even social workers—to train in a realistic and risk-free environment. The simulation center will improve patient care and refine safety techniques and provide ongoing education and skills development. It also provides opportunities for interprofessional collaboration.

“The Innovation Center is also a tool for enhancing care delivery, research, and quality improvement initiatives,” said Kristine Taylor, DNP, executive director of the Innovation Center and Center for Professional Excellence and Inquiry. “By analyzing simulation data and outcomes, health care teams can identify areas for improvement and implement evidence-based practices to enhance patient care.”

The new center uses advanced technology, including high-fidelity mannequins, high-resolution simulation AV, and real-life equipment, such as mechanical ventilators, that simulate a wide range of medical conditions, providing realistic feedback to the trainees. “The facility features debriefing rooms where teams can review their performance and discuss ways to improve,” explains Froiland Ascano, DNP, Innovation Center manager. “The center’s enhancements boost the competency of health care providers and also foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.”

For example, the Innovation Center is able to offer new and senior nurses a dynamic learning environment through simulations where they can refine their clinical skills in a controlled setting. The simulations let them rehearse skills such as inserting IVs, performing labor and delivery operations, responding to code events, and providing neonatal care; the simulations also provide on-demand training in life support. Up to 10 health care professionals can be in a single simulation room and use lifelike patient models, resembling newborn patients and adults, to mimic real-world medical scenarios, which can be repeated as needed.

“We are able to enhance our critical thinking, decision-making, and communication skills, ultimately improving patient care outcomes without putting actual patients at risk,” said Emily Tomich, RN, triage nurse and labor and delivery nurse educator. “This is especially important in high-stress situations where clear communication is critical, from basic procedures to complex surgical techniques.”

Along with keeping health care teams up-to-date with the latest practices and technologies, the space can facilitate innovation in health care delivery and patient outcomes.


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