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Banner Simulation Medical Center Earns Worldwide Accreditation

Banner Health’s systemwide simulation education program has been accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in five areas of expertise, becoming one of three worldwide organizations to achieve accreditation in all areas.

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare is the largest simulation organization in the world focused on improving patient care and patient outcomes. Institutions can apply for accreditation in one or more of the five areas of expertise: core, assessment, research, teaching and system integration. To date, there are only 27 institutions worldwide that have been certified by SHH and only two others organizations have been accredited in all five areas – the U.S. Army Medical Department, Madigan Healthcare System and University of Pittsburg and UPMC The WISER Institute.

With the vision of transforming health care delivery through simulation, learning and research, Banner Health’s extensive simulation program is available to physicians and nurses in seven states. The program boasts a 55,000-square-foot simulation medical center located in Mesa, one of the largest centers of its kind in the world. The “virtual hospital” places caregivers in real-time situations using the latest technology in electronic medical records and innovative care.

“Putting caregivers into environments where they become familiar with the multiple demands in a real-time situation allows them to gain confidence in their ability to deal with patients in real life situations. This is an excellent education technique and Banner Health is very fortunate to have access to this center and the educators that are there,” said Carol Cheney, Banner Health’s senior director of clinical education.

Another important element of the program is the simulation-education network, a network that was modeled after the aviation industry recognized for their safety rating.

“Our simulation education has decreased the time needed for new nurses to get oriented to Banner facilities and policies; increased our retention rate of new nurses, which ultimately reduces errors in patient care,” said John Hensing, MD, Banner’s executive vice president/chief medical officer. “Our research program is also leading the field of simulation learning into the future.”

In 2012, the program was accredited by the American College of Surgeons, becoming the first program that is has accredited across an entire health system. Banner Health has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Top Five Large Health System in the nation and as a Top Leadership Team/Large System by HealthLeaders magazine.