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Riverside Simulation Lab Teams Stand Out at National Meeting

February 19, 2024
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Teams from Riverside Regional Medical Center, in collaboration with the Riverside Simulation Training Lab (RSTL), had a chance to shine at a major national health conference, where the lab also received full accreditation from the prestigious Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). 

SSH’s annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, a five-day event held in late January in San Diego, drew nearly 4,300 attendees. Seven Riverside representatives traveled to California to present two posters during Professor Rounds and participate in a culminating panel discussion on the creation of a Sim Lab. 

Since opening nearly three years ago, the RSTL has worked toward achieving full SSH accreditation, a challenging peer evaluation process with extensive data reviews that the program completed at a fairly rapid pace. 

The five-year accreditation recognizes excellence in multiple core standards of healthcare simulation, as well as in subset specialties of assessment, research, teaching/education and systems integration. Riverside’s chosen focus was teaching/education.  

“This certainly was a peak for our program,” says John Alex, MD, RSTL Medical Director and an Emergency Physician. “We’re not going to stop here, however. We’re going to keep pushing, innovating and building our team to see how much more we can accomplish.” 

RSTL, an 8,400-square-foot facility at Riverside Regional Medical Center, has four clinical areas that offer multi-disciplinary training opportunities for providers to develop, practice, maintain and expand their clinical skills in a safe setting. 

At the SSH conference, Dottie Wentworth and Leah Greene of Riverside’s Professional Development Team presented a poster on developing low-volume, high-risk procedural skills in new RNs, an important bridge from nursing school to clinical practice.   

Meanwhile, a poster presentation by NICU team members Sara Hamblin, Kaylee Arsenault and Sherri Hawkins focused on a course to improve awareness, detection and treatment of dermatitis in the pediatric perineal region – commonly known as diaper rash – using models of baby bottoms that display various rash stages.  

“We were proud to see that both posters received a lot of attention and positive feedback,” Dr. Alex reports. 

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Alex served as Lead Moderator of a panel titled “Birth of a Sim Lab” (despite a drenching rain that flooded the convention center). He and Kelly Matteson, Simulation Lab Coordinator, joined Riverside’s five other representatives to discuss common tasks, challenges and lessons learned in developing the RSTL. 

Topics included the importance of crafting a strategic plan, assembling a high-quality team and documenting a return on investment. Audience members both asked questions and shared insights into their own processes and solutions. 

In addition, Dr. Alex received an SSH award for his service as Planning Co-Chair of Healthcare Sim Week 2023, a one-week virtual event held in September to celebrate achievement in simulation. In that role, he helped spearhead the launch of a mentorship pilot program to link accredited centers with less established centers looking for guidance. 

Finally, Dr. Alex was selected to present a low-cost, portable model developed in the RSTL for emergency ear/nose/throat (HEENT) procedural skills training during the SimVentors Showcase.     

“This event offered great recognition for our hard-working Riverside teams and our overall program,” Dr. Alex notes. “We also returned with new knowledge and perspectives after hearing other people’s ideas and experiences, which will help us continue to bring new and groundbreaking simulation-based education to Riverside teams.” 

To learn more about the Riverside Simulation Training Lab, please visit riversideonline.com/RSTL