April 20, 2017
Michigan Medicine will more than double the size of its Clinical Simulation Center, an innovative instructional learning laboratory used to train health care professionals.
The $4.75 million renovation of the 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. The project was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.
"Simulation plays an important role in medical education," says James Cooke, executive director of the Clinical Simulation Center and assistant professor of learning health sciences and of family medicine, Medical School. "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 Building II will be transformed 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.
This video explores the new Clinical Simulation Center.
Also coming to the new location is a second independent simulation space with eight stations that allow users to perform training tasks or take assessments at any time, 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.
Simulation training has become essential to health professional training and patient safety initiatives. 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," Cooke says. "Learning in this environment helps students reduce errors, improve safety, and elevate the quality of patient care."