HONOLULU -- Tripler Army Medical Center's Medical Simulation Center received its second national recognition as it was awarded the American College of Surgeons accreditation in July, here.

Tripler's simulation center is the only center in the Pacific region and the third center in the Department of Defense to have earned the ACS accreditation. It received its first accreditation from the Society of Simulation in Health Care in November 2011.

The official ACS accreditation title is the Level II - Basic Accredited Education Institutes.
Col. Stanley Zagorski, chief, General Surgery Services, TAMC, is the surgical simulation director. Zagorski said accreditation shows that the center is meeting proven national standards in the simulation training education that Tripler provides.

"By attaining accreditation, the center at Tripler ensures our providers undergo training in a simulated, standardized and safe manner in order to optimize their skills before delivering patient care," Zagorski said. "Currently our training center's primary mission is to support graduate medical education."

When considering a simulation center for accreditation, ACS ensures that the faculty has the proper training and credentials and the curriculums are well developed and clearly stated. Additionally, the organization considers the feedback received on the training programs and how the faculty uses the feedback to make the training better.

"We want to make sure that we are meeting and exceeding the national standards that are set by recognized organizations, such as ACS," said Ruth Andrews, medical simulation center, TAMC. "Patient safety is our ultimate goal.

"Before (interns) are seeing patients, they are up here practicing basic skills," Andrews added.

Half of Tripler's graduate professional health education programs are surgical programs. To support these programs, the center offers a variety of simulators from simple task trainers, such as suturing, all the way through the high-fidelity simulators, such as the SimMan 3G patient simulator, that allow training on many skills.

The center has come a long way since its origination in July 2008. In its first full year of operation, fiscal year 2009, the center clocked 6,576 hours. With two and a half months left in fiscal year 2012, the center has already clocked 9,402 hours.

The Central Simulation Committee, which was established to set goals of standardizing simulation-based training in Army graduate medical education programs and improving patient safety within the Army Medical Department, oversees Tripler's simulation center and the other nine centers throughout the Army.

Page last updated Mon July 30th, 2012 at 16:15