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Patient-Care Simulations Help Prepare for AHSP Opening

Pictured above and at bottom: Bill Hucks of consulting company NBBJ (left) keeps watch on the players during a patient-care simulation last week in the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion.

In preparation for its official opening, the 11-story Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion experienced a series of tests last week to evaluate, among other things, operational flow in the new space.

The simulations, which incorporated patient care and emergencies, took place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday within various areas, including the Heart Institute, neurosciences and the Anesthesia Pre-Procedure Evaluation Center.

Terry Huang of NBBJ (in back) watches over a simulation.

Participants meet before the simulations begin.

The goal of the simulations was not only to evaluate operational flow but also to make staff members more familiar with the new facility, said Robert Cull, executive project director in Facilities Planning, Design and Construction.

The registration process and patient experience also were major parts of the scenarios. And during the emergency "code" simulations, members of Cedars-Sinai’s security team were heavily involved, Cull said.

"We ran through some much-scripted scenarios so that we could evaluate how well staff handled the new space, how patients might react, and how well the building itself would support those scenarios," Cull said. "We also have some services, or procedures, that are new to us in the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion and needed to evaluate those as well."

To create the scenarios, actors and actresses were hired to portray patients, Cull said. Members of Cedars-Sinai’s Volunteer Services Department acted as family members.

After the simulations, the volunteers were asked to provide feedback on the operation, said Camille Camello-Zendejas, volunteer coordinator at Cedars-Sinai.

"From their observations, the care was great and the responsiveness was spot-on," she said about the volunteers' assessments of the Pavilion’s overall operation during the live simulations.

Cull said the simulations went "very well" and that the staff demonstrated a high level of preparedness.

Designed with a patient-centered focus, and to foster collaborations between scientists and clinicians, the AHSP is being opened in phases. Research labs occupy the eighth and ninth levels of the building and have moved into their new space, including the Regenerative Medicine Institute on the eighth level. The Heart Institute and neurosciences, which includes the departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, will begin moving into the Pavilion on the third and sixth levels.

The Pavilion also features the 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and Procedure Center on the fifth level, which will serve as the home for outpatient and a.m.-admit orthopedics patients. In addition to eight general surgical rooms, it will feature two interventional radiology rooms and two cardiac cath labs.