PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The Healthcare Simulation and Bioskills Training Center (HSBTC) at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) announced, Feb. 8, that they were reaccredited by the American College of Surgeons for five years.
The HSBTC was previously accredited for the first time in 2015.
The HSBTC provides state-of-the-art, simulation-based medical training to members of the Armed Forces and the local medical community. The HSBTC provides training for each of the 14 graduate medical education programs at NMCP. It also provides training to sustain skills, improve safety and improve the functionality of teams in all medical disciplines and specialties.
“The reaccreditation is a tremendous attribute to our simulation center and to our staff, who do the work day-in and day-out,” said Capt. Michael Spooner, medical director of the HSBTC. “The reaccreditation represents that we are applying standardized training practices in ways that are effective. We always want to deliver a professional product, one that people feel is valuable and want to come back for. We continually work to increase health care quality by decreasing variability in our systems, and I don’t know how you get to that without having standardized training practices.”
Spooner said that during the accreditation team’s site visit, the team reviewed the training plan for policies and procedures that show the HSBTC is applying learning practices to problems. Those learning practices include building curriculum, figuring out the learning need, executing the training and then evaluating the effectiveness of the training.
The team also ensures the HSBTC is applying adult learning theories.
Medical simulation offers the learner, regardless of skill level, an opportunity to get hands-on experience for a specific patient complaint.
“Because it’s medical simulation, we are carving out very specific education experiences, so we start with sound practices to ensure that the learning experience is exactly what we need to make it,” Spooner said. “We can customize the experience by taking the learner, the environment, and we re-create a scenario based on an objective we want to teach. There are many skill sets, such as surgical skills, that we can apply learning principles through trainers. We can provide opportunities for them to rehearse and master crucial techniques.”
Since it opened in 2006, the HSBTC has trained more than 26,000 Department of Defense and civilian health care professionals. They now have more than 50 different simulators valued at more than $6 million. This includes task trainers, low- and high-fidelity mannequins, cut suits and the latest in 3-D virtual simulation.
The initial idea behind the simulation center was to expand the experiential learning of the trainee. The mannequin-based education that originated in NMCP’s emergency room grew over the years, and by 2013, it had been transformed to an entire wing encompassing thousands of square feet. It currently occupies more than 5,700 square feet and includes a Bioskills Training Center that opened in 2015.
“We have a lot of support from the command and the staff,” Spooner said. “Simulation and training is built into the culture of the command because they see the benefit. Our training numbers almost doubled in 2018 from the year before. I attribute that to the quality of the work of our staff.”
Since 2013, the staff expanded from eight to 18, including two nurses who focus on curriculum development, which allows the HSBTC to target specific training needs.
“What make us so successful is the team we have who executes the program,” Spooner said. “It’s clear that NMCP has one of the most dynamic groups of people that we could put together. On our team, we have nurses, physicians, educators, IT specialists and simulation technicians. We all come together with our levels of expertise to execute a high-quality product. They see the benefit that the learners get from it, so that really builds a lot of passion to want to make the program even better.”
During a review of best simulation practices, Spooner said the team recently evaluated themselves in areas that included staffing, supplies and space utilization. He said that has led to more efficient use of their space, standardized processes for ordering consumable medical supplies, as well as improving the tracking of maintenance of the equipment.
For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit www.navy.mil/local/NMCP/.