State of the Art Technology

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A mannequin that can blink, breathe, convulse and go into full cardiac arrest. The Human Patient Simulator (HPS) is the next generation of Anesthesia simulation training and education at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.
“It’s been over a decade, since the groundbreaking report “To Err is Human” issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1999 indicated that as many as 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors and 70% of the errors can be attributed to “human factors.” Inadequate training provisions at all stages of a clinician’s career is widely recognized as one of the contributing factors to why medical errors occur. The School of Nursing and Health Studies is committed to reducing the number of medical errors by utilizing state of the art technology like HPS to help identify potential training issues in the lab, long before a student ever provides patient care. “We have the technology with our simulation program and HPS to replicate just about anything that can go wrong during patient care,” says Jordan Halasz the new Technical Director of Simulation Services at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.
The HPS is the only patient simulator with the ability to provide respiratory gas exchange, anesthesia delivery and full patient monitoring with real physiological clinical monitors. The key features include: pupils that automatically dilate and constrict in response to light, thumb twitch in response to a peripheral nerve stimulator, automatic recognition and response to administered drugs and dosages, variable lung compliance and airway resistance, chest tube drainage and simulated urine output. Repeatedly run the most complex cases with ease—and tailor the difficulty to match the skills of every student.”
According to Halasz, “the HPS features such as tremors, secretions and pupillary responses to light will allow us a broader range of scenarios to be created and ultimately make them more realistic.” This cutting edge tool and technology comes with a very high price tag. However, thanks to a grant to the School from the Hugoton Foundation, the first new HPS is being utilized by students.
“As a nurse for over 50 years, I feel privileged to be able to support nursing education, which is unfortunately poorly funded, but is vitally needed for the health of everyone in the United States.” Says Joan Stout, RN, President and Managing Director of the Hugoton Foundation. Stout, a member of the
School of Nursing and Health Studies Visiting Committee, hopes the new simulator will “better prepare nursing students to be clinically competent at the bedside.” Halasz says “this technology is allowing our students to learn from their errors in simulation without any adverse impact to patients. I am confident saying the possible errors we are preventing daily with this technology will save lives in hospitals across the country. We allow students to make the errors in the lab and make certain they learn from their mistakes. The bottom line is utilizing education to reduce medical errors and save lives.”

Stout is encouraging others to follow her lead and invest in the future of Nursing, “with the shortage of nursing which will continue and grow, everyone interested in the future health and well-being of the citizen’s of our country, should support nursing education.”


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