A group of employees eagerly approach a human patient simulator stretched out on a hospital bed. Gasps echo through the room as the mock patient’s lifelike chest rises and mechanical eyes dilate and blink. Affectionately called “Stan,” the patient simulator technology was the highlight of a behind-the-scenes tour during Patient Safety and Quality Week in March.
The UF College of Medicine Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies provides real-life simulation training to residents, faculty and staff throughout UF Health. In March, the center was opened to interested individuals during a week of safety and quality activities.
“We’re always looking for ways to be inclusive and highlight the cool things that people do here every day to improve quality care,” said Cristin Owens, UF College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education assistant director and chair of the Patient Safety and Quality Week committee. “All of the tours were highly successful and we received great feedback.”
The week of events highlighted UF Health’s mission to provide outstanding care. Games, interactive patient safety displays, keynote speakers and a poster session drew attendance by patients, visitors, staff and students. Behind-the-scenes tours of departments like pharmacy, radiation oncology, radiology and the simulation lab were a new addition this year. They gave staff a chance to develop new skills from our experts and see how UF Health teams strive to provide patients with outstanding care.
A UF College of Medicine team developed the human patient simulator technology in the late 1980s. Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., UF College of Medicine Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies director and an anesthesiology professor, was an engineer on the anesthesiology team that invented the technology, along with Michael Good, M.D., UF College of Medicine dean.
“There are many instances that are so rare that a physician probably won’t see them in residency and fellowship training, but might encounter them in a 30-year career,” said Lampotang. “We can create these extremely rare situations with the simulator so they know how to react.”
What started out as a rudimentary simulation device attached to an anesthesia machine has now become some of the most advanced technology in the field of health care. The simulator, located in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building, replicates the symptoms of a real patient. It breathes in oxygen, produces carbon dioxide and consumes anesthetics and nitrous oxide. The vital organs pulse, make lung and heart sounds and react to electrical stimulation.
The realistic features give trainees an accurate representation of how a real patient would react to their care.
“Simulation directly impacts care and elevates safety,” said Lampotang. “We’re striving for the best possible outcomes and this technology is one way we accomplish those goals.”
During the tour, Lampotang and his team ran participants through a series of activities that tested their clinical skills. Enthusiastic attendees teamed up to perform CPR, while others virtually prepared a mock patient for surgery.
Elizabeth Tremblay, a UF Health Shands Infection Control practitioner, signed up for the tour to see more of what the College of Medicine offers students and clinical staff.
“I want to go to medical school someday, so it was really interesting to see the new technology and environment,” she said. “It’s not something we’re able to see every day – it’s a unique opportunity.”