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Friday, April 25, 2014 - Broward Health Opens a Virtual Hospital

Realistic Human Patient Simulators Offer Nurses Real-Time Training Scenarios

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. –  One of the best ways to be prepared for anything is to keep training and learning.  Broward Health now has a new tool to do just that.  The AJ Acker Virtual Hospital, featuring the interactive SimMan® 3G and SimJunior® patient simulators, is open at Broward Health North.

“We can run a wide variety of simulation scenarios right from this virtual hospital,” said Mary Keegan, PhD(c), RN, CCRN, coordinator of clinical education at Broward Health.  “Thanks to the generosity of AJ Acker and others, our nurses can now utilize this best practice in education to promote the critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills of nurses, physicians and medical staff, to ensure improved quality outcomes and patient safety.”

The Virtual Hospital, the first of its kind to open in South Florida, consists of two converted classrooms. One is a control room, where a group of clinicians and educators run the simulation and the students review the scenarios. The other replicates a patient room with all the supplies needed to treat any possible conditions presented by the computerized mannequins. 

The virtual hospital’s main benefactor and namesake, AJ Acker, was a registered nurse for years before leaving the profession to become a co-owner of Sleepy’s LLC.

“I knew I had to step forward,” said Acker, a board member of Broward Health Foundation, “and help Broward Health prepare its nurses to provide better care,  the highest level of nursing care possible. “

 The virtual hospital will allow healthcare professionals to mimic potentially life-threatening scenarios as close to reality as possible. It will initially be used to train newly hired nurses, but will expand to be used as a training tool for all clinicians across the healthcare system.

“This is the realization of a four-year dream to enhance the quality of learning, to enhance the educational processes of our clinical staff.” said Jean Seaver, R.N., MSN, corporate director of learning at Broward Health. “Our mission is to serve our community.”

Broward Health, providing service for more than 75 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. Broward Health includes Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward Health Community Health Services, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health International, Broward Health Urgent Care and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.

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Click here to watch the story on Local 10.