Medical simulation in Sheridan

Ruby Valley first to receive Montana Hospital Association sponsored medical training

Ruby Valley Medical Center and area agencies came together Wednesday for a unique, two-part, multi-agency simulation training event in Sheridan. 

The training, sponsored by the Montana Hospital Association and facilitated by Simulation in Motion Montana, was focused on identifying opportunities for improvement in each agency’s response to a potential infectious disease outbreak and to improve the quality of communication between those agencies.

The primary objective was to evaluate each agency’s response to a patient - a high-fidelity manikin - who may or may not have been harboring a highly infectious disease, and who may or may not have had contact with another agency’s patients and team members. 

The first phase of the training prioritized the identification of possible clinical interventions, infectious disease and proper personal protective equipment. Also, EMS was engaged to recognize the potential need to notify the receiving emergency department of a possible infectious disease. 

During the second and final phase, hospital and other agency administrators gathered for a tabletop exercise discussing roles and responsibilities, specifically those relative to the hospital incident command structure, communication with external agencies and logistics. 

Simulation in Motion Montana (SIM-MT) is a 501©3 training organization that takes high fidelity simulation medical training directly to facilities across Montana to improve team dynamics and patient outcomes. Several key members of Montana Hospital Association’s Health Care Coalition coordination team have been collaborating with SIM-MT to develop this statewide training project that will take numerous similar events to various communities across the state over the next year. Sheridan was the first community in the state to benefit from the opportunity. 

“The infectious disease training provided by SIM-MT gives facilities and communities a rare, but realistic, scenario to help hospitals and EMS be prepared to treat anything that they may encounter,” Casey Driscoll, Southern Region Health Care Coalition coordinator, said. “The community engagement aspect allows folks to meet and build relationships so they can come together and work efficiently in the event of any situation.”

Ted Woirhaye, Director of Nursing at Ruby Valley Medical Center, was a big part of facilitating the event. He said Simulation in Motion Montana and Montana Hospital Association were all great to work with and that the experience was all positive. “Our teams just went with it, and we all let it be a learning process. The tabletop after was great, too. Quite a few opportunities for improvement came out of that; a few we’re implementing already.”

Woirhaye also appreciates the training opportunity from a big-picture angle. “By training in this way, we can work toward being prepared for almost any situation that is going to arise. It’s not just the facility and community. It goes beyond that into incident command and notification at county, state and even federal levels.  These things can escalate quickly,” he said. “It’s about being prepared for our community so we can handle a situation well and know where it’s headed from there. It all boils down to communication. Improving that for the best outcomes.”

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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