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SimLEARN's First Event Post-Pandemic

By: LeAnn Schlamb, MSN Ed.S, Associate Director for Research and Outreach | VHA SimLEARN National Simulation Center

Jisha Markose, PT, DPT, OVAHCS Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Coordinator | VHA Orlando Veterans Affairs Health Care System

On Feb. 23, SimLEARN successfully hosted the Ceiling Lift Vendor Show, the first major event to occur at National Simulation Center (NSC) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event also provided a framework on how future large events could be conducted safely while adhering to current COVID-19 guidelines. Success of the event was due to the great collaborative efforts between SimLEARN, Orlando Veterans Affairs Health Care System (OVAHCS) Safe Patient Handling Coordinator and Biomedical Engineering.

The collaboration highlighted High Reliability Organization (HRO) principles leading to using appropriate equipment that is proven to reduce staff injuries and improve patient outcomes. This vendor show specifically exemplified site-specific assessment and planning to help the facility continue to strengthen just culture and thereby promoting zero harm.

The goal of the event was to provide a frontline staff a venue to evaluate ceiling lifts from multiple vendors as part of the campus ceiling lift replacement for OVHCS and SimLEARN. Some of the current lift systems were at “end of support” phase with parts no longer being available. Six VA nationally recognized ceiling lift vendors attended the show. Additionally, 40 front line staff from various services received a chance to express their feedback in selecting the best suited ceiling lift vendor for OVAMC and SimLEARN as standardization is priority for our Safe Patient Handling and Mobility program.

VA courtesy photo: Frontline staff evaluating ceiling lifts. 

VA courtesy photo