December 3, 2019

Simulation expert Dr Brazil visits Northern

Dr Victoria Brazil visited Northern Hospital Epping to present on how simulation can help us improve the work that we do in health care, and most importantly, how to improve that work together.

“It’s about team work, dealing with systems and with complexity in health care. That practically means that during the lecture and the workshop, we will go through different examples of where we can use the simulation modality to really examine what the issues are in hospitals,” she said.

Dr Brazil says the issues in hospitals can be related to team performance, relationships between different departments or processes of care and patient journeys.

“We use simulation to examine those and once we get a sense of what we can do to improve, we use simulation again to embed and train teams in order to deliver the care better,” she explained.

During the lecture, Dr Brazil shared some of the experiences she had at the Gold Coast University Hospital and experiences from around the world and, at the workshop, participants had a chance to spend time to think how to use modalities appropriately for a particular problem in hospital.

“The power of getting people in the group was what attracted me to simulation in the first place, and also having a chance to reflect on experiential learning. I saw that as being a very effective way of helping people both to look at their behaviours and actions, and to think about other ways of improving those,” she explained.

Some of the outcomes of simulations Dr Brazil facilitated with her Cath Lab team led to the time it took from patients arriving in ED to having their cardiac catheterisation, with patients with myocardial infarction, being cut in half.

“On the other hand, whilst working with trauma departments, we had some outcomes in cultural change and shift, so there are some tangible, measurable results of simulations, but there are also those ones harder to measure, but easy to see, like improvements in relationships and culture,” Dr Brazil said.

Dr Nancy Sadka, Emergency Physician, said she was inspired by Dr Brazil and is following the work she is doing at Gold Coast University Hospital.

“When I came to Northern Health, one of the things I wanted to do was to improve our care in all aspects. We are also using simulation both for education and for quality improvement. Northern Hospital program is now in its early days and we are using multi disciplinary in-situ simulation where we address culture issues, teamwork and we translate recommendations into practice,” she said.

Multiple other health services were represented at the lecture. Northern Health hosted guests from Austin Hospital, Peter Mac, Ballarat Hospital and Box Hill Hospital.

“I think we should be very proud of the work we are doing. Northern Hospital could be a leader across Victoria of this initiative to integrate the use of simulation into our hospital quality processes,” Dr Sadka added.

Dr Victoria Brazil is an emergency physician and medical educator. She is Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Simulation at the Gold Coast Health Service, and at Bond University medical program. Dr Brazil is an enthusiast in social media and #FOAMed world (@SocraticEM), and she is co-producer of Simulcast (

Featured image (left to right): Brooke Williams, Project Support Officer; Dr Victoria Brazil and Dr Nancy Sadka.