ED 1 ED 3Baseball teams hold spring training to get ready for opening day and the many games ahead. We did the same thing to prepare for the April 21 opening of Building Hope and the many years to come.

Teams from our Cancer Care, Cardiac Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care units and our Emergency Department put themselves and the new building – a.k.a. the Forest zone – to the test during a series of simulated shifts over the last month. Together with onsite instruction and classroom training, the simulated shifts built skills and confidence and identified problems to correct before the first patients arrive.

Medical mannequins, team members and even stuffed animals stood in for patients as teams responded to various high-risk and high-frequency scenarios to try out new systems and work flows. Questions flew — Where are the IV poles stored? Can you find the printer? What’s up with this self-inflating bed? – while observers noted every comment and question so any problems could be fixed the next day.

“When we presented our simulation plans at an international conference people were amazed,” says Dr. Kimberly Stone, who with colleague Dr. Jennifer Reid oversaw the simulations. “It’s unprecedented for a hospital to commit this level of resources and time to patient safety before a new facility opens.”