School of Medicine
One Center, Endless Opportunities to Learn
For generations, The Johns Hopkins University and Hospital have been leaders in healthcare, education, scientific discovery and the field of medical simulation. Every September, new medical students gather to learn about the origins of the most successful simulation training – cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Today, the practice of medical simulation has grown into a wide-ranging program anchored in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Center.
At the Simulation Center, students and others benefit from the extraordinary resource of cutting-edge computer-generated mannequins – simulators with breath sounds, heart tones and palpable pulses as well as a monitor displaying a number of vital signs. Using these mannequins in clinical simulations allows future and current physicians to ‘practice on plastic’ first, performing everything from intubation to defibrillation to chest tube placement.
"Among the many innovations in medical education over the years, simulation has had the biggest impact and will save lives," says School of Medicine Vice Dean for Education David Nichols, M.D.
Under the leadership of Betsy Hunt, M.D., M.P.H., the Drs. David and Marilyn M. Zamierowski director, the Simulation Center continues to explore new ways simulation resources can be used to improve patient safety. Hunt, a pediatric critical care specialist, has earned wide recognition for her work at the Simulation Center. Hunt, and others like Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.C.M., senior vice president for patient safety and quality and director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, partner in several ways to create and support complementary programs around patient education and safety. The two have also co-authored and published many studies together on measuring and improving patient safety and enhancing team communication. See the Alumni Update below to learn more about Pronovost's work.
To learn more about the Center or make a gift online, visit the Simulation Center’s website.
Johns Hopkins Patient Safety Expert Earns Dual National Honors
Peter Pronovost, Med '91, a patient safety champion who's devoted his career to making healthcare safer for patients by reducing medical errors and avoidable harm, was the recipient of two national honors this spring.
In April, he was the first recipient of the American Board of Medical Specialties Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Award. In the same month, Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician magazines, for the second time in two years, ranked Pronovost as one of their "50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare" for 2012. He ranked 19th on the list this year, up nine spots from the previous year.
One of Pronovost’s accomplishments was the development of a checklist for reducing deadly bloodstream infections associated with the insertion and use of central lines to deliver drugs and take blood samples from critically ill patients. His five-step checklist for physicians and nurses virtually eliminated these infections and has saved more than 1,500 lives and $100 million annually in Michigan hospitals; the protocol is being implemented at hospitals across the United States and in several countries overseas.
"Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death and injury in our country, and many of these are preventable," says Pronovost. "It’s an honor to be recognized for our work and my team and I remain committed to reducing preventable harm among those who trust us with their medical care."
Pronovost has chronicled his patient safety efforts in a 2010 book (available on Amazon), Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out. He has published more than 400 articles related to patient safety.
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Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute Receives $8.9 Million Patient Safety Grant
Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has received an $8.9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the first award given as part of an ambitious new $500 million, 10-year program designed to eliminate all preventable harms that patients experience in the hospital. The project, led by Institute Director Dr. Peter Pronovost, will focus on identifying improvements that could be applied in other healthcare settings. Read more.
Medical and Nursing Students Challenge Medical Professionals to be Better Role Models for Patients
In an era of soft drink bans and restrictions on junk food ads, students at the Schools of Medicine and Nursing are taking a different approach to aid the more than 170 million Americans who are overweight or obese. In June, students launched The Patient Promise, a grassroots initiative asking healthcare providers to publicly commit to practicing the basic tenets of healthy living - regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and managing stress - to model healthy behaviors for their patients.
"The Patient Promise transcends the coach-pupil relationship in which a clinician is merely telling a patient how to live his or her life," explains David Gatz, a medical student who helped found The Patient Promise with fellow medical student, Shiv Gaglani.
Another medical student and single mother, Veronica Hocker was an early signer of the promise. She says it has challenged her to live healthier. Hocker, who began the academic year with a body mass index that placed her in the obese category, committed to making lifestyle changes after taking a course on obesity - the same class that inspired Gaglani and Gatz. Motivated to set an example for her son and build confidence in prescribing a healthy lifestyle for future patients, Hocker began watching her diet and incorporating exercise into her schedule. She lost nearly 30 pounds in less than five months.
While the students only recently launched a formal effort to encourage healthcare providers across the country to sign on to The Patient Promise, more than 400 individuals representing 40 different institutions have already accepted and signed the pledge. They hope to get at least 1,000 students and clinicians to commit to the promise by the end of the year. Learn more.
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