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Stanford Medicine conducts 'dress rehearsals' for staff before new hospital's opening

Stanford (Calif.) Medicine conducted two dress rehearsals this summer to prepare staff for the move to the new $2 billion, seven-story Stanford Hospital, expected to open Nov. 17.

The dress rehearsals, which took place in July and August, included 1,575 staff members who participated in 164 simulated scenarios. The scenarios enabled patient care and support staff to walk through workflows, activities and processes to become more familiar with the new hospital.

The scenarios involved common patient care situations, with some simulated complications. A host coordinator helped direct staff through the scenarios, and a recorder documented any issues that arose as staff performed their usual processes. The staff also reviewed each step and fine-tuned their workflows as needed. The "patients" in these scenarios were played by volunteers.

Later this month, Stanford's Office of Emergency Management will hold a three-hour, hospitalwide mass casualty exercise, and a facilities team will test all systems in the building, including nurse call buttons and paging systems. Some teams will also run mini simulations to ensure issues identified during the dress rehearsals are resolved.

"We know how to do the clinical work," said Alison Kerr, vice president of operations at Stanford Health Care. "But in the new space, with new equipment, new technology, new workflows and different disciplines working together, we have to practice so we get that operational discipline down with a high degree of reliability. We don't ever want to get anything wrong."

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