GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A 3,000 square foot pediatric simulation lab is now open at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. The purpose of the lab is to improve the technical expertise of clinicians and to strengthen teamwork and communication among physicians, nurses, paramedics, and other health care providers.
It simulates real-life patient care scenarios through the use of computerized mannequins. Each mannequin has a pulse and can demonstrate many conditions, ranging from seizures to rapid heart rates.
During a simulation on Thursday, an infant mannequin suffered a "code blue" respiratory crash. A medical team performed a variety of medical procedures and saved the infant.
Besides education and training, Leslie Jurecko, director of quality and safety, says the simulation laboratory supports the hospital's goal of being the safest children's hospital in the nation.
"It is not just the medical aspects we are practicing when we do the scenarios," Jurecko says. "It is the safety around our system-- and if there is something that we can do better, we are not going to find out until you actually run a scenario and practice."
Hospital president Robert Connors says one of the hospital's goals is to prevent patients from feeling any unintentional harm.
"To prevent all the harm from ever happening, you need everyone in on the deal, and [the simulation lab] is a piece of that."
The simulation lab also features a control room with one-way glass that houses computer and software applications that run the scenarios, and an observation room that houses a television used to identify opportunities for growth and learning.