Joseph Brant Hospital Conducts Mega-Sim, an Inter-Departmental Medical Simulation

Posted on Friday October 04, 2019

Medical simulation designed to support our goal of continuous learning while inspiring collaboration in the name of process improvement.                                                                

Burlington, ON. –   On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 70 medical professionals collaborated on a Mega-Simulation, the largest and most complex inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary medical simulation to date at Joseph Brant Hospital. 

At Joseph Brant Hospital, simulation is a key component of our goal of continuous learning for our care teams. Dr. Alim Nagji, Physician and Clinical Teaching Unit Director, conducts in situ simulations in the Emergency Department, where teams of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and learners run through cases on mannequins to emulate what they would do in real life.  When patients arrive to the hospital, their situations can be life and death; it’s vitally important that our teams are ready for any situation.

This week’s simulation was a little different. “We got to a point where we thought, ‘we should grow this and include other departments’. Because when a critical case comes in, it’s not just one team that’s involved” says Dr. Nagji. “So, we planned a Mega-Simulation (Mega-Sim), where the acuity of the patient was so high, it would see the patient travelling to other departments for additional care”.  

With the assistance of the McMaster Centre for Simulation-Based Learning (CSBL), teams from  

obstetrics, pediatrics, anesthesia, emergency, intensive care, laboratory medicine, information technology, and patient transfer came together for this simulation. The Mega-Sim followed a pregnant mother and her baby in their care journey from the Emergency Department through the Operating Room and Intensive Care Unit.

In all, 30 medical and support staff participated in the simulation, while another 40 staff and regional health care partners watched through a live video link and took part in an afternoon workshop. Simulation allows the hospital to evaluate processes, policies, procedures and, most importantly, team functioning. Through it, we assess problems and strategize solutions with the ultimate goal of patient safety and quality.

Following each departmental simulation, participants took part in a team debrief, discussing the case and the ways that Joseph Brant Hospital can learn from the experience to further optimize patient care. Those who observed via live video link used the same time to reflect on how they can improve processes at their own institutions.

“This is truly the largest and most diverse collection of simulation participants and educators that I have seen come together solely for the purpose of learning together and working to improve patient care” shares Dr. Kyla Caners, Assistant Director, Patient Safety and in situ Simulation, McMaster University.

For Dr. Nagji, the simulation was a success. “Our teams worked through the scenarios like they were real life, executing with competence and confidence. They observed and conveyed risks, identified opportunities and opened dialogue between team members and departments.”

Joseph Brant Hospital and CSBL plan to use the lessons learned during the simulation to enhance patient care and outcomes, and create a more connected community of simulation educators.

“We are so proud of our teams and thankful to CSBL and Mac-Care for helping us complete this first of its kind simulation” expresses Dr. Nagji. “We can’t wait to do another.”


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