In the best-attended Medical Grand Rounds ever at the JGH, more than 500 healthcare professionals from across Quebec recently viewed a webinar presentation on treating acutely ill COVID-19 patients, delivered by members of the hospital’s Emergency Medicine Simulation team.
Held on April 6, the Medical Grand Rounds were presented by Dr. Errol Stern, Dr. Haran Balendra and Dr. Kamy Apkarian, in coordination with the Department of Medicine, headed by Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, the JGH’s Physician-in-Chief.
The presenters discussed the unique features and treatment of COVID-19 patients, while outlining how simulation exercises have provided physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists with lessons that can be put into practice in experiential, real-life situations.
Using simulation exercises, Dr. Stern and his colleagues have also trained more than 160 healthcare providers in the JGH Emergency Department to treat COVID‑19 patients who have a variety other medical problems or conditions.
“The debriefing after the simulation exercise gives facilitators helpful insights into the reasons why staff behaved as they did,” says Dr. Stern, Director of the JGH Emergency Medicine Simulation Program.
“By better understanding their frame of mind, we can agree on the best way to maximize the safety of our personnel, while achieving the best care for COVID patients.”
Simulation tabletop exercise sessions were held on Feb. 17 to review the plans and procedures of professionals in numerous departments.
This was followed, a week later, by a multi-disciplinary simulation exercise, in which a COVID-19 patient—played by an actress feigning illness—was treated in the Emergency Department and transferred to Intensive Care.
In mid-March, two simulation scenarios related to COVID-19 were created by the Emergency Medicine Simulation Team (Dr. Apkarian, Dr. Balendra, Dr. Julia Bernard, Melanie Sheridan, Dr. Stern and Dr. Madelaine Yona).
Both videos advocate strategies for effective team communication, which becomes more complicated when staff wear personal protective equipment and use walkie-talkies.
According to Dr. Stern, these exercises are valuable tools for coping with new or complex medical situations, and they serve as helpful adjuncts for effectively improving care.
“By examining the actions of the multi-disciplinary medical team and the responses of the healthcare system, we can keep pace with our evolving environment and effectively deliver the care the patient needs,” he says.