A Novel Approach to Emergency Department Readiness for Airborne Precautions Using Simulation-Based Clinical Systems Testing.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2022.08.015; PMCID: PMC9568412


STUDY OBJECTIVES: Emergency department (ED) COVID-19 preparations required rethinking workflows and introducing the potential for errors. Simulation provides a nimble methodology integrating into situ training and systems testing to prepare staff, detect potential workflow latent safety threats and provide recommendations for mitigation.

METHODS: We developed 5 onsite rapid-cycle ED simulation cases using "tipping points" related to new protocols coupled with a structured observation tool. Staff observed simulations, recorded adherence to protocols, identified safety threats, discussed mitigation strategies, and participants completed an evaluation using a 5-point Likert scale. Latent safety threats were prioritized by risk and escalated to leadership.

RESULTS: Through 44 simulations, 76 staff identified 31 unique latent safety threats in the following categories: job aids 9 (29%), isolation measures 8 (26%), communication and personnel 6 (19%), and technology and equipment 8 (26%). Eleven high-priority safety threats were escalated to ED leadership. Sixty-five staff (86% of participants) completed a web-based evaluation reporting that simulations were worth the time (86% strongly agreed), an effective way to test the system (92% strongly agreed), and an acceptable way to improve (92% strongly agreed).

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that simulation-based clinical systems test methods are adaptable for rapid preparedness evaluation and training. In combination with rapid-cycle deliberate practice, many latent safety threats were identified prior to clinical implementation. Our work highlights a novel application of simulation systems to increase system preparedness and reduce the potential for errors which may be applicable in diverse settings for designing, evaluating, and training staff in new protocols and procedures.

Journal Title

Annals of emergency medicine





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; COVID-19; Blood Transfusion; Emergency Service, Hospital


COVID-19; Blood Transfusion; Hospital Emergency Service

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