Since the COVID-19 outbreak, schools of healthcare professions and hospitals have had to reinvent how to provide safe clinical education for students. Some have been able to operate remotely and some had had to implement blended learning.
More than ever, there is an essential need to provide education to eliminate preventable harm and to teach safe clinical practice to ensure the safety of patients.
COVID-19 has accelerated the amount of patients who have died from preventable medical errors in three different fronts:
- COVID-19 patients: due to the uncertainty of treatment (trial and error situations):
- Non Covid-19 patients: with other health conditions, who were suddenly asked to stay home, who have gained fear of leaving their houses and going to the hospital; and
- Healthcare workforce who are also exposed
Organizational factors such as ill prepared healthcare systems, and human factors like an increase in workload and time pressure, as well as the uncertainty and complexity of the outbreak are all risk factors that accelerate medical errors.
In order to eliminate these errors and sustain the quality and safety within the healthcare field, it starts with training medical students on how to ensure patient safety in everything they do.
Simulation provides a safe training environment to make mistakes and to create the opportunity to observe behaviors.
Solutions like Body Interact, a virtual patient simulator that enables today and tomorrow’s healthcare professionals to develop their clinical reasoning and decision-making skills, were a game changer during COVID-19 and has really reinforced the potential of simulated learning solutions for medical students.