VA PA Sim Center

Simulated Delivery Room Environment

The original facility opened in July 1995 and is located on the campus of the Palo Alto Division of Veterans Affairs Medical Center which had graciously donated the space and had performed the renovation. The Simulation Center is dedicated to support hands-on and realistic simulation-based training as well as inquiry and research on patient safety issues. Having this kind of dedicated Center means that simulation can be conducted at any time during the week or on weekends with no interruptions for use of the "OR" for clinical purposes.

New Simulation Center (opened as of January 1998)


View from the Simulation Room set-up as an operating room during an ACRM training course. Dr Kevin Fish (far left close to anesthesia monitors) handing in a case in progress to an anesthesia resident (far right in the background); Dr Steve Howard (left) participating as a surgeon; an anesthesia resident (right) plays the role of a surgical nurse.

The new Simulation Center opened in January of 1998 and is also located on the campus of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) Palo Alto Divsion. The new Simulation Center is a fully dedicated facility for conducting simulation-based training courses and research on patient safety. The new facility includes a 450 square-foot simulation room equipped with gas supplies and a surgical light enabling one to set up a fully functional and realistic operating room. Anesthesia and surgical equipment have been graciously donated by Datex-Ohmeda (anesthesia machine and monitor), Hewlett Packard (monitor and defibrillator), Seimens (pumps), and the VAPAHCS (OR table and surgical supplies). The patient mannequin lies on an OR table, gurney, or bed. At the other end of the room there are gas supplies to support setting up an ICU bay, a delivery room, or an ER cubicle. There are several microphones and video cameras mounted in the room to capture the activities taking place in the simulation room.

Adjacent to the simulation room is the control room. In here are the computers which comprise the "guts" of the Patient Simulator, and the simulator instructor's control station. The wireless microphone receivers and video recorders (computer controlled) are also in here. From here, the instructor can call up and modify simulation scenarios, watch the performance of the simulation participants, direct the surgeon and nurses (actors), and even provide the patient's "voice" (through a speaker under the mannequin's head).

Control Room

(pay no attention to the persons behind the scene!!)

View of the Control Room at the Simulation Center. On the right of the desk is the simulation computer. To the left, is a Macintosh computer that controls the video system using a special software written by Dr Gaba (left). Further to the left are video monitors showing the several cameras views in the simulation room plus one view of patient's physiologic data. All views are synchronized using the Macintosh computer/software. Note the simulation Room in the background seen through a one-way glass window.

View from the Debriefing Room during a debriefing session led by Drs David Gaba (far right close to monitors) and Erin Bushell (adjacent) during an ACRM training course

A critical part of simulator-based training is debriefing using the videotapes of the simulation session. A separate debriefing room will also be the site of didactic and group exercise portions of ACRM training courses. The debriefing room is equipped with several large video monitors on which participants can watch their performance in the simulation session. The video system is controlled by computer so that multiple views of the session can be viewed simultaneously in synchrony.

The Center has a room with space for carrels for the use of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) and to host research fellows in patient safety.

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