Simulations test readiness of new Outpatient Facility in The Woodlands

Simulations test readiness of new Outpatient Facility in The Woodlands

Ready, set, go!

“Are you OK?” a nurse asks a patient who stumbled to the ground after an unsteady walk to an exam room at the new Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands Outpatient Facility. “Help!”

A slew of medical staff come rushing to the girl’s aid, some comforting the patient’s mother and others tending to the girl’s lethargic condition. During what looked like controlled chaos, medical staff rolled equipment into the exam room, ran up and down hallways to gather more help and within what was just a few minutes stabilized the patient.

This was one of 11 scenarios played out during a three-day simulation at the Outpatient Facility before its doors opened for business on October 4. The purpose of the simulation was for medical staff to test their new environment, not their clinical abilities. Were there enough supplies? Is medical equipment in the right place? Is the room set up properly?

“Architects are great at creating these beautiful environments but are they friendly to the providers who are actually seeing patients,” said Julie Barrett, director of outpatient and clinical services in The Woodlands. “Testing those environments to see if we’re able to provide high quality patient care is what we hope to learn from simulation.”

Jeanette McMullin, a nurse in the surgery clinic at the Outpatient Facility, participated in the exercise and said it gave her a good feel for her new clinical space.

“It really took me through the process of what we would do for a patient given the situation and the supplies on hand,” McMullin said. “For me, the outcome was clear and that is we are able to function very well in this new environment.”

Barrett said a robust simulation is planned prior to the hospital opening in April. These efforts will be tailored to inpatient providers and will be led by many of the same simulation team leaders, all of whom are based in The Woodlands and have been trained at the Texas Children’s Simulation Center at Main Campus.

“The staff, providers and leaders have done a wonderful job,” she said. “I am amazed at how vitally important this simulation has been. It’s been a great learning opportunity.”

For more information about the Outpatient Facility, click here.