ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This week, faculty from Harvard University and the Center for Medical Simulation were in St. Petersburg to teach an intensive, hands on simulation training program focused on patient safety at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

  • Program uses life-like mannequins, other technology
  • Educators have traveled the world collecting research on patient safety
  • Training educates staff on handling high-risk pediatric emergencies

"We are obsessed with simulation," said Janice Palaganas with the Center for Medical Simulation. "We are obsessed with patient safety. We study it on a daily basis."

Using life-like mannequins and other technology, educators took staff members through real-life scenarios to improve their life-saving skills.     

"We're taking care of patients that are very, very ill and any opportunity we get to practice our skills that normally we don't get to use very often will result in better patient outcomes," Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Tiffany Gwartney said.

The team from the Center for Medical Simulation has traveled the world collecting the latest research in patient safety. They train hospital staff on how to handle high-risk pediatric emergencies.

"We create and simulate an experience to make it as real as possible, so we can get at what is interfering with applying the knowledge they already know," Palaganas said.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold, Director of the Medical Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, said medical errors are the third leading cause of death in our country. She wants to make sure her staff does not add to that statistic, and said she hopes improving patient care will bring families some peace of mind.

"This is teaching our teachers how to deliver the best simulations that they can, and the trickle down effect on our patients is better care, safer care, and a much better patient experience," Arnold said.