Regents approve Clinical Simulation Center expansion project

April 21, 2017  //  FOUND IN: News

Plans to expand Michigan Medicine’s Clinical Simulation Center, an innovative instructional learning laboratory used to train health care professionals, took a step forward Thursday when the board of regents approved the project’s proposed budget and design plans.

The $4.75 million renovation of Medical Science building II will include a second Clinical Simulation Center location that will open in January 2018. The existing Towsley Center location is exceeding capacity with 10,000 learner visits per year. The new space will add 7,500 square-feet — more than doubling the center’s capacity from 6,000 to 13,500-square feet.

“Simulation plays an important role in medical education,” said James Cooke, M.D., executive director of the Clinical Simulation Center and assistant professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences and Department of Family Medicine. “It is an effective way to develop, update and refresh skills without putting patients in harm’s way.”

The former Furstenberg Student Study Center Lounge in Medical Science II will transform into five exam rooms that look identical to adult, pediatric and obstetric hospital rooms. Equipment will be set up in the same fashion and monitors will display what appears to be real patient data. Instead of practicing on actual patients, learners will hone their CPR, surgical and a host of other skills on adult and child manikins that model the human body.

Also coming to the new location is a second independent simulation (iSim) space with eight stations that allow users to perform training tasks or take assessments 24/7, three post-simulation debriefing rooms and two large skills classrooms for table-top skills practice. Beyond independent opportunities, the center’s multidisciplinary environment fosters collaboration, bringing together students from various fields to work and communicate as a team.

The center’s new location will be easily accessible to medical and nursing students, as well as faculty, clinical staff and outside health care professionals.

According to Cooke, expanding the simulation center is beneficial for advancing cutting-edge research on simulation-based education and also for improving the care of patients who will be treated by the learners.

“The Clinical Simulation Center prepares students with the evidence-based principles and clinical skills they’ll need in clinical environments in the real world,” said Cooke. “Learning in this environment helps students reduce errors, improve safety, and elevate the quality of patient care.”