LSUHSC innovation in patient safety training to improve surgical outcomes

New OrleansOn Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. in the Isidore Cohn Learning Center on the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, a surgical team comprising surgery residents, anesthesiologists, circulating nurses, nurse anesthesia students, and medical students, will be thrown into a scenario where their patient develops a potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia during a gallbladder operation. Other crises may occur as well, depending upon how the surgical team performs. Through a peerless combination and adaptation of the most sophisticated medical simulation and virtual technology developed to date, faculty at LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans are now training future generations of medical professionals to anticipate and avoid medical errors. To our knowledge, there is not another set-up like it anywhere in the United States. While other universities are using simulators and still others are doing mock training exercises, there is not another program that has connected independent technologies to relate laparoscopic surgery to a "live patient" in an environment with the look, feel, and function of a real minimally invasive operating theater.

Through industry partnerships, LSUHSC faculty have equipped a minimally invasive operating room with new-era lights, monitors, and cameras, and a fully responsive human patient simulator that faculty program to physiologically respond just like a patient undergoing surgery performed with a virtual reality laparoscopic surgery simulator. A quad split screen monitor displaying the OR activity, vital signs, the surgical field, and the scenario allows not only the surgical team to check information, but those immediately outside the virtual OR as well those in a large adjacent conferencing facility can monitor and also learn from the case.

Satellite capability will permit broadcast to remote locations as well.

Taking off on the airline industry's con

Contact: Leslie Capo
Louisiana State University Health Science Center

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