VA Palo Alto Health Care System
The VA Palo Alto Health Care System Simulation Center, an entity of the Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Service, is a world leader in the field of healthcare simulation. The Simulation Center has pioneered the use of mannequin-based, fully interactive simulators in anesthesiology, intensive care, emergency medicine and other clinical settings. Additionally, since “simulation is a technique, not a technology,” the Center also utilizes specially trained actors, including some members of the VAPAHCS Veterans and Family Council, to portray patients or family in simulation scenarios dealing with challenging issues of communication.
Under the direction of David M. Gaba, M.D, Professor of anesthesiology, the group has led simulations for research and training since 1986, running a dedicated simulation center since 1995. Its current facility, which occupies 9000 square feet, contains a large simulation space that can serve as an operating room, emergency department, intensive care unit or other clinical facilities. Three simulation rooms replicate patient rooms, two with casework and furniture just like the real thing. There is one simulation clinic room with an exam table. Since an important component of simulation training is the post-scenario “debriefing”, the new simulation center has three debriefing rooms of various sizes, some of which are large enough to handle more than 20 participants. The Center has a state-of-the art audiovisual system designed largely by the VAPAHCS simulation team in order to capture audio and video of simulation activities for use in post-scenario debriefings or for approved research protocols.
In addition to training physicians, nurses, and other clinical personnel for more than 25 years, the simulation team has trained individuals from VA centers and other sites around the United States and even from other parts of the world in the field of healthcare simulation. The Simulation Center is well-known all over the globe. The Center is proud of its long pioneering heritage at VAPAHCS, which was possible only with the unflagging support of the leadership of the institution. It is committed to serving our nation’s Veterans by striving to improve the quality and safety of patient care, both for them and ultimately for all patients everywhere.
Key Simulation Personnel at VA Palo Alto:
- The VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s (VAPAHCS) Simulation Center is a world leader in the field of medical simulation.
- The Simulation Center has pioneered the use of mannequin-based, fully interactive simulators in anesthesiology, intensive care, emergency medicine and other clinical settings.
- State-of-the-art equipment and many more opportunities for simulation-based training and education research are available.
- Approximately 9000 square feet of space designed for learning.
- The history of the Simulation Center at VAPAHCS and its precursor simulation activities derived more than 30 years ago. In the 1980s, simulation was conducted for anesthesiologists in clinical sites. In 1995, the first simulation space was established. Several years later, a larger permanent center was built in the basement of Building 100 which functioned until 2015. The new center was designed with the simulation team starting in 2013 and opened the doors in May 2018.