Patient simulation centre opens at Clinical Academic Campus

Colin and Lois Pritchard help open the Pritchard Simulation Centre at the Clinical Academic Campus.

Medical students and health professionals get realistic, hands-on training

A new state-of-the-art patient simulation centre opens today at the Clinical Academic Campus of UBC’s Southern Medical Program at Kelowna General Hospital. The facility is supported by a $500,000 donation from The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation.

The Pritchard Simulation Centre – a joint venture between the UBC Faculty of Medicine and Interior Health – will replicate a variety of high-risk / low-probability medical scenarios to provide hands-on training experience.

The centre will be used extensively for medicine and nursing education and continuing professional development particularly for cardiac and critical-care personnel.

“Patient simulation is highly advantageous to medical education and health professional training,” says Dr. Allan Jones, regional associate dean, Interior. “It helps promote patient safety, benefits clinical skills teaching, and provides opportunities for inter-professional team training. This centre will be an invaluable resource for both Southern Medical Program students and countless health professionals in our region.”

“The generosity of the Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundation as well as the anonymous donor will benefit the health professionals – including Southern Medical program students – being trained here in Kelowna,” said Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson.

“The contribution announced today builds on the dollars being invested in health care in the region.”

The centre’s two primary features are SimMan 3G and Harvey. SimMan is a portable, high-fidelity patient simulator that mimics the physiological reactions of a live human being. For example, SimMan bleeds, sweats, blinks, breathes, and talks as a real person does. It is designed to respond to numerous medical procedures including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), intubation, resuscitation and defibrillation.

Harvey is a stationary patient simulator that replicates cardio and pulmonary sounds, allowing students and health-care professionals to identify and discuss the sound or medical condition.

The Pritchard family has also created an endowment fund to support student awards in the Southern Medical Program. Their gift of $50,000 has been matched by an anonymous donor. The fund will provide bursaries to medical students in the Southern Medical Program.

“Our family values health care and education,” says Colin Pritchard. Our hope is that this centre will advance training for both medical students and health professionals in our region, and contribute to the quality of health care in the Southern Interior.”

Norman Embree, board chair of Interior Health, says the health authority places a high value on its partnership with UBC.

“The simulation centre provides more training opportunities for our physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals,” says Embree. “For example, the simulators will be used for training in cardiac-arrest management and diagnosing heart conditions and diseases.”

Good medicine involves good team work, says Jones. The Pritchard Simulation Centre will also be valuable for team training particularly in emergency and trauma scenarios where the need to work well together under intense conditions is paramount to good patient outcomes.