Two years ago, we introduced our ReaLifeSim wearable hybrid IV trainer to the world at HPSN World 2017.
And now, having just left HPSN World 2019 where we were co-sponsors, we’re happy to report we saw and tried out some of the newest and most amazing components of healthcare simulation technology! But, even though new and innovative technologies were the focus of the product showcase, the most satisfying aspect of the conference was the topic dominating the sessions, presentations and panel discussions – patient safety.
The primary focus was the most basic tenet of all healthcare providers and organizations - “do no harm.” Offered as evidence of the importance of that pithy phrase, was a narrative, told by the Sheridan family, in person and on film, about the failure of providers and the healthcare system at large, which had catastrophic results – not once, but twice – impacting every member of the Sheridan family. The documentary is called To Err is Human, edited and produced by Michael Eisenberg, and is a must-see for, well - everyone.
Other areas emphasized included competence, confidence, communication and caring (often expressed as emotional intelligence). These elements are and have been the underpinning of ReaLifeSim since its inception. Competence and confidence in hands-on skills and interpersonal communication are the twin goals of our ReaLifeSim IV training products. By providing the opportunity for repeated safe practice, on a live person, future doctors, nurses, EMTs and other clinical staff develop the competence and confidence they need to deliver the safe, quality care all patients expect and deserve.
We are also committed to competency in a clinician’s communication skills because research shows effective provider/patient communication is essential to empower patients to see themselves as part of the process, building a sense of trust within the patient toward the provider and improving patient outcomes. The ReaLifeSim IV trainer, worn by a live person, helps clinical learners improve their provider/patient communication with every practice session.
For patient safety to take its rightful place as the centerpiece of healthcare’s culture, it must be the mindset of every participant: physician, nurse, technician, administrative staffer, custodian, contractor and patient. Each of us, in our various roles, must be accountable for ensuring a patient’s safety as they pass through each step of the healthcare process.
While debate continues over the exact number of mistakes leading to negative patient outcomes, one thing is clear. There are way too many occurring every day. If healthcare is to join the ranks of other high-risk industries, such as aviation and nuclear power, who can boast a true “zero tolerance” culture for errors that cause patient harm, then it is up to all of us to demand and deliver such a system to our selves and our fellow citizens.