Interior Health recently opened its fourth medical simulation training centre, located at the Penticton Regional Hospital.
The new centre was opened in partnership with the University of British Columbia Southern Medical Program.
In October 2022, the IH/UBC Simulation Program became the only program in B.C. to be accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Simulation programs are designed to create medical scenarios that utilize manikins actors and more to provide healthcare professionals and students with the most realistic experience for learning and refining procedures, patient care and team dynamics while in a safe environment.
“Simulation exercises create an environment for research to enhance the quality of our patient care and safety. Through simulation, we want to promote collaboration and learning so that participants are truly achieving excellence in healthcare delivery,” said Dr. Jared Baylis, medical director for the Interior Health simulation program and medical education simulation lead for the Southern Medical Program.
The simulation program started in 2009 in the Kootenays with rural physician Dr. Jeff Plant and clinical nurse educator Eve Burkart to support their rural colleagues in providing best-practice quality care to patients experiencing high-risk, low-frequency events such as cardiac arrest or trauma.
Although an emerging educational tool at the time, the program quickly gained traction and was mobilized to support rural emergency departments throughout the IH network.
“It’s been fantastic to see this program grow from its beginnings in the Kootenay region to where we are now,” said Burkart.
“The team focus was and continues to be, particularly important in rural areas. Simulation provides specific experiences and training to strengthen the provision of evidence-based care without any risk to a patient.”
In addition to the new Penticton centre, Interior Health has the Pritchard Simulation Centre in Kelowna, the Rae Fawcett Simulation Centre in Kamloops, the Kootenay Boundary Simulation Program in Trail as well as the IH Rural Mobile Simulation Program that travels to 29 rural and regional sites. Interior Health, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and UBC Okanagan School of Nursing have partnered on the program to provide simulation education throughout the health region.