On the 5th edition of the SIGMA European Conference, Body Interact promoted a webinar with 4 international nursing educators where they were invited to share their opinion and experience within the use of virtual patients.

Sofia Macedo is a Manager Capacity Building from Saudi Patient Safety Center (SPSC). This institution aims to eliminate preventable harm in healthcare system, by emp​​owering patients and supporting healthcare professionals.

On the National Advisor level, Sofia and her colleagues work to change culture and high-level policy in order to promote patient safety.

“The frequency and the magnitude of medical errors in hospital setting are increasingly and they are a worldwide matter of public health”, mentioned Sofia. As a former student of nursing, she remembers being concerned about forecasting the appropriate care management towards her patients and performing the nursing techniques correctly. However, nowadays she realises that it should be all about the safety component.

Due to this pandemic, the institution predicts that the number of patients who die from preventable medical errors will exponentially increase in three different fronts:

  • COVID-19 patients: due to the uncertainty of treatment (trial and error situation);
  • Non COVID-19 patients: with other health conditions, who were suddenly asked to stay home, who have gained fear of leaving their houses and going to the hospital; and
  • Healthcare workforce who are also exposed to this situation.
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Sofia believes that there are several interconnected risk factors underlined that can accelerate medical errors:

  • Organizational factors, as some healthcare systems were not prepared to face such public health outbreak;
  • Human factors due to the such as increased workload and time pressure to make decisions and the uncertainty and complexity of what we are dealing with.
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“If we want to change the culture of the society, we should always start by improving the education of our children”

In order to sustain the quality and safety of the healthcare field it is important to “start by working with students”, mentioned Sofia. To the question, “how to train nursing students and professional through their life-long learning process, ensuring patient safety on everything they do”, she gives two advises:

  • Invest on simulation training to increase clinical and non-clinical skills;
  • Create a Crew Resource Management on your university to teach and promote situational awareness; and
  • Focus on the reduction of adverse events, as well as workplace safety.

Simulation tools provide a safe training environment to make mistakes and to create the opportunity to observe behaviours. At the same time, it helps educators generate constructive feedback, to enhance individual performance, in a risk-free environment.

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“This is how you do it. If it’s wrong, this is how you overcome it”

In Sofia’s opinion, when Body Interact was introduced, it was a game changer due to the virtual patient simulator and its physiological algorithm. “It’s not about trying to get things right all the time”, she explained. “It’s allowing people to fail, so they can learn how to overcome those mistakes”.

As a Manager Capacity Building it is essential to prepare a nursing workforce that is mindful of failure. Also, it is crucial to do it as teams, “which is something beautiful about Body Interact”, concluded Sofia.

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Interested to know more about Body Interact real-time feedback and how it can help your students learn how to overcome any obstacle or incorrect decision? Contact us here.

Body Interact – SIGMA – Part 4

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