Healthcare Professionals from Across Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) Attend First BILH Simulation Symposium

June 16, 2023
BILH Simulation Symposium

Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) hosted the inaugural BILH Simulation Symposium on June 9, 2023, at the Samuel & Nancy Jo Altshuler Simulation Center. The symposium brought together healthcare professionals from LHMC, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Beverly Hospital to brainstorm ways experts from across the system can collaborate to leverage simulation technology to improve medical education and training. 

The symposium was the brainchild of co-hosts Dmitri Nepomnayshy, MD, director of Simulation and Professional Development at LHMC, and Daniel Ricotta, MD, Senior Director of the Carl J. Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center at BIDMC.

“The goal of this session is to plant the seeds of future collaboration on the topic of education through simulation training, research and innovation among our centers,” said Nepomnayshy in his welcoming remarks.

“In a lot of ways, today represents the first time BILH is coming together to collaborate and co-develop something new,” said Ricotta. “As we begin to rely on each other more in terms of our clinical practice, we should also rely on each other more in terms of our educational training.” 

BILH President Kevin Tabb, MD, agreed. “Leveraging our collective strengths and talents—that’s exactly why we came together as a system four years ago and that’s exactly what I think all of you are doing here today,” said Tabb. “You are setting a great example, so thanks to everybody here for making this happen.”

Leadership from across the BILH system weighed in on the many opportunities presented by collaborating to innovate new educational and training paradigms—from improving patient care to providing national leadership in medical education. 

“Being together here today is a really great example of BILH’s commitment to furthering clinical care through education and research,” said BILH Chief Academic Officer Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, noting that education is an essential pillar of BILH’s mission to provide extraordinary clinical care. “This event is the first one that really brings together BILH institutions and I think this particular one shows that together, we are stronger.”

In her remarks, LHMC President Susan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, added that U.S. medical testing is rapidly moving to competency-based assessment—with some specialties well ahead and others lagging. “Simulation is going to be foundational and we’re so lucky to be at the front of this movement here at Lahey,” she said. “Our simulation center is world class, so I am so proud to be here and very pleased to be part of this symposium looking forward to the future.” 

LHMC Chief Academic Officer Anne Mosenthal, MD, FACS, reminded symposium attendees that Lahey’s Burlington campus would soon be home to a new regional medical school campus for UMass Chan Medical School students who choose to focus on leadership and team-based, patient-centered care. “Interprofessional education is one of the main themes of our new medical campus—they’ll do so much learning from each other,” she said. “So today is a particularly wonderful event and I am excited to hear some of the ideas you all come up with.” 

“We all know healthcare is a team sport,” agreed Peter Healy, President of BIDMC. “Anything we do together is going to be better. It’s going to be more efficient; it’s going to be more effective. There are going to be several opportunities for this kind of collaboration—and this is just the beginning.” 

“Every piece of what we do in simulation is critical for sustaining the high quality of our providers, and as an educator, I would say that we need to do evidence-based education, we need to prove that the things that we’re doing actually make a difference,” said Rich Schwartzstein, MD, Executive Director of the Carl J. Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center at BIDMC. “Having two institutions that can do those kinds of projects gives a lot more validity to them and not only advances our own education techniques but really contributes to the national discussion about how best to use simulation in medical education.”

After the welcoming remarks, Will Grandin, MD, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist at BIDMC, gave an overview of a simulation-based training course he and colleagues have been developing over the last six years for the management of cardiogenic shock—a leading diagnosis for cardiac patients admitted to the medical and surgical ICU and one that comes with a mortality rate as high as 50 percent. Studies show identifying patients with cardiogenic shock and initiating appropriate therapy as early as possible—something that depends on a highly-trained interprofessional healthcare team—can significantly improve outcomes.

The nationally-known boot camp that Grandin and their colleagues lead for BIDMC cardiology fellows involves putting trainees through software simulation, live hardware-based simulations and finally simulation-based assessment.

“In the last two years, we’ve also been bringing people back for refreshers or reassessments of knowledge retention and skills,” Grandin said. “This kind of collaboration—leveraging the expertise of the entire BILH network and bringing this training to a wider array of clinicians—would really benefit patients with cardiogenic shock, who are incredibly complex and critically ill.”

Symposium attendees also participated in breakout groups that gave them the chance to discuss opportunities for cross-BILH collaboration related to research, led by Cullen Jackson, PhD, and Tasneem Zaihra Rizvi, PhD; procedure skill, led by Sara Neves, MD, and Dmitry Nepomnayshy, MD; cognitive skills led by Carla Lamb, MD, and Josephine Cool, MD; communication skills, led by Deanna Plewa, DO, and Ginny Brady, MD; novel education technology led by Ted Gomez, MD, MTR, and Jessica Kim, MD; inter-professional education led by Caroline Ricard, MD, and Camille Petri, MD. 

With physicians, investigators, educators and nurses all well represented, the lively conversations seemed to meet the symposium organizers’ goal of fostering future collaborations.  
For Shelly Calder DNP, RN, CEN, Associate Chief Nurse for Professional Development and the Magnet Program, the day provided space to better integrate nurses’ training with that of the physicians they work with, every day. “Nurses already do simulation-based competency training and assessment upon their hiring and then annually,” she said. 

“But we are really trying to think about how we collaborate as interprofessional teams, so how we as nurses can be involved in simulation training together with physicians, because that's how we take care of our patients—together,” said Calder, who is also on the simulation advisory committee at BIDMC. “We already do some of that, and the value of it is really high, so it’s just figuring out how we better coordinate so that training can be even more valuable to all of us as a team.”

Opened in November 2021, the Altshuler Simulation Center Lab at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is a state-of-the-art simulation facility that provides healthcare professionals with a safe and realistic environment to learn, practice or refresh skills. 

About Beth Israel Lahey Health

Beth Israel Lahey Health is a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,700 physicians and 39,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.

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