Published on November 03, 2015

Learning New Spaces: Boston Children’s Hospital Helps Milford Regional Transition to Addition

Milford Regional Medical Center teamed with Boston Children’s Hospital in October for a series of simulations to familiarize staff with the new emergency department and test the readiness of the new facility prior to opening.

Milford Regional moved into the new 78,000 square-foot space last month. The addition includes a new emergency department, intensive care unit and private patient rooms.

“When the doors opened to this impressive new facility, our staff was fully prepared to deliver the excellence in emergency care that our community has come to expect,” says Edward J. Kelly, president of Milford Regional. “The Simulator Program provided by Boston Children’s Hospital helped to ensure a smooth transition of care from our current location to the new Meehan Family Pavilion.”

The Simulator Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, offers a service called “SIMTest,” which  helps expose unanticipated safety  issues, avoid mistakes before they arise in real-life settings and helps medical staff get their bearings in new spaces where layouts are different than what they are accustomed to.

The program has conducted more than 50 regional, national and international design and facility readiness tests since its inception.

“Medical simulation affords a tremendous opportunity to practice before ‘game time,’” says Catherine Allan, MD, clinical director of the Boston Children’s Simulator Program. “You’re no longer intellectualizing the operation of a new facility – the processes, the procedures, staff and workflow – you are actually doing it and ensuring the space meets your needs and is optimized for your team. We are thrilled to have worked with Milford Regional on the creation and execution of these exercises as they prepare to open their new emergency department.”

The SIMTest event held in October  aimed to ensure that medical staff are familiar with the flow of the new space as well as the equipment housed within and can appropriately respond to patient emergencies in that new environment. The simulations consisted of four scenarios that were played out using “patients” – actors or mannequins – and a debriefing to analyze the response followed each simulation.

 “The simulation testing that was performed with the help of our colleagues from Boston Children’s Hospital was an incredibly helpful and insightful exercise,” said Dr. Jeff Hopkins, medical director of emergency services at Milford Regional. “The simulation exercise allowed us to identify ways to maximize patient care and identify areas for improvement proactively, before the opening of the new department.   We took the most complex cases with the sickest type of patients and simulated how we would care for major traumas in the new ED and purposely strained the system in a realistic way in order to identify best practices and prepare staff for this incredible, new space. The experience was terrific, incredibly well run and extremely enlightening for our front-line staff.” 


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