In This Video
- The COVID-19 pandemic demanded a shift in simulation work to not only focus on the management of the crisis but also how to do that while both keeping the patients and staff safe from infection
- Simulation is about teamwork and safety, which relies on a strong culture of working together and good communication. That foundation is what affects patient care so positively
- The OB unit is comprised of many areas (emergency, critical care, recovery and operating rooms) and staff (anesthesiologists, obstetric doctors, nursing staff and midwives). Simulation helps us work well together and deliver a smooth experience for patients
In this video, Erik Clinton, MD, medical director of Labor & Delivery and Postpartum and simulation officer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the department's approach to simulation activities that drive a culture of teamwork and coordination to ultimately advance patient care.
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As the department simulation officer, I'm responsible for being a director of a simulation training team that puts together simulation activities for our interdisciplinary group, meaning that I coordinate crisis training for our OB providers, our midwives, our nursing staff, our nurse anesthetists, and to coordinate working together to be able to deliver care, manage crisis and be able to deliver the best possible care for our patients.
During this COVID-19 period, we had to shift our simulation work to not only be focusing on the management of the crisis that could be occurring but also on how to do that while both keeping the patients safe from infection, keeping our staff safe from infection and that took some practice. One of the unique opportunities in simulation is to be able to practice in a kind of lower-risk setting, managing some challenging coordinated team efforts.
For example, doing Cesarean delivery is something that we can practice doing all the time, but one thing that we hadn't had a chance to practice is doing that with personal protective equipment on. So doing those things can help us understand where should we keep our personal equipment, what things do we need that might be in the way or obstruct our ability to move or get in and out of the operating room. So it was a unique challenge and something our team came together to be able to do.
I think simulation is a lot about teamwork and we're trying to build the safest possible atmosphere that we can, and safety is really built around culture and so the continued working together, practicing communication, practicing management, builds a culture of safety and it's that culture that actually helps affect patient care so positively. Simulation work has been done in a lot of different fields and it has been done in a lot of different fields in medicine. One of the unique things about our floor is that we are taking many different groups and putting them together, from anesthesiologists, OB doctors, high-risk obstetric doctors, our nursing staff, our midwives, bringing all of those teams together to manage what is really more than one unit. We have an emergency room area, an area of critical care, an area of recovery, an area of postoperative recovery, and our own operating rooms, all on one unit. And so our ability to be able to coordinate within that space is based on our ability to work and communicate well together. That's where simulation comes in to help advance what we can do, to make that as smooth as possible.
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