Archive of "Healthcare Adventures" Category

Healthcare Adventures in Australia!


CMS held two of its Healthcare Adventures (HCA) workshops at Mater Education in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia last month. Mater is a CMS Affiliate, though the HCA workshop is available to all organizations, not just those in the affiliate program. Each workshop lasted two days, with the first running February 28th to March 1st, and the second running March 8th to March 9th.

The CMS team involved in these HCA workshops was made up of Robert Simon, Kate Morse, Mary Fey, Demian Szyld, and Jenny Rudolph.

One of the HCA workshops was attended by Mater “Stream Leaders,” and the second by their “Executive Council.” The Healthcare Adventures workshop creates simulations which are intended to open participants to transformational changes in their organizations and in their work life. Participants use these simulations to experience and debrief on how they react as a team, how leadership is determined in crisis situations, how to create an environment and culture where speaking up is encouraged and cultivated, and where staff feel safe speaking up and being transparent with each other.

The Mater team was interested in creating cultural change and embedding “Speaking Up” as a culture, hospital-wide. The workshop was also a jumping off point for having Mater leadership experience the concepts of simulation and “Debriefing with Good Judgment,” and showing how simulations can help people change the way they think.

The reaction from the Mater team was very positive. The faculty said their goal was to create the right balance of comfort and discomfort in the simulation experience in order to to foment change, and to get participants to reflect honestly on their interactions. When the team returned to Mater a week later, the Mater leadership team was excited to show us how they had implemented one of the systems from the HCA workshop, the “Learning Pathways Grid,” which they had printed up on a large board in their office space.

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The Healthcare Adventures workshop aims to move organizations from conventional to transformational modes.

Overall, the two workshops held at Mater Education were a great success, and we are very excited to continue bringing Healthcare Adventures to other hospital leaders and teams around the world!




Healthcare Adventures (HCA) are customized, intensive team-training workshops for leadership and management teams across the healthcare spectrum. Designed to improve individual and team performance by developing collaboration and communication, the HCA workshops use a simulated patient experience in a highly realistic clinical environment to highlight a team’s dynamics in a powerful, but non-threatening fashion. Non-clinicians actually get the chance to care for a patient and experience real-life issues first hand, and clinicians are challenged to think like healthcare administrators and executives!

CMS faculty and professional facilitators work with the team before the simulation, discussing objectives and expectations, and again after the simulation, identifying important interactions, key learnings and actionable strategies. This allows the group to turn learning into action immediately, by working on a real-world project with the help and support of the CMS facilitators. Depending on their needs, teams can draw variety of follow up support mechanisms and training to advance their learning and performance. Topics include teamwork, effective communication, resource management, performance enhancement and patient safety.

Workshops include:

  • Consultation between the team leader and a CMS facilitator prior to the workshop
  • Team pre-briefing on simulation objectives and strategies
  • Customized team challenge in the simulated clinical environment
  • Debriefing and discussion to identify important interactions and to develop actionable strategies for implementation
  • Facilitated work session to apply new strategies to an existing project (i.e., budget negotiations, product development, and pipeline strategy)
  • Report from CMS facilitator
  • Follow-up between the CMS facilitator and the team leader

For more information about Healthcare Adventures click here, or contact Gary Rossi, COO, at grossi@harvardmedsim.org



Safety Leadership Training for Hospital Managers

A look back at the development  of CMS’ Healthcare AdventuresTM (HCA) team-training workshops for healthcare leadership and management teams was featured in a recent  Donaghue Foundation Newsletter.  It was a grant from the Donaghue Foundation in 2007 that led to the development of  the current version of the HCA program. Recently, Donaghue provided a generous supplemental grant to help CMS investigate the prospects of diseminating HCA on a broader regional, and potentially national, basis.

Designed for both clinical and non-clinical healthcare leadership and management teams, HCA is a one-day group workshop that combines customized team challenges with a simulated patient in a highly realistic clinical environment. Yes, non-clinicians actually get the chance to care for a patient and experience real-life issues first hand. It’s an eye-opener! In this highly realistic clinical setting, teams can identify group strengths and capitalize on them; or, identify barriers to effective teamwork and tackle them head on. Applying the learnings collected from training the most dynamic and high-stakes teams of Harvard physicians over the last twelve years, the HCA workshop offers an unrivalled performance-enhancing experiences for any leadership, management or administrative group involved in healthcare.

The Patrick & Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation was established by Ethel Donaghue in memory of her parents. The Foundation is a charitable testamentary trust dedicated to furthering the search for medical knowledge of practical benefit to human life and to the quality of the lives of people, particularly in Connecticut. The Foundation focuses on initiatives in and for the State to strengthen research on health issues, to promote future research leadership, and to put new knowledge to work for public benefit.

CMS Update

Jeff Cooper has written an editorial entitled, “Using Simulation To Teach and Study Healthcare Handoffs” for the August 2010 edition of Simulation in Healthcare. As Jeff notes in his editorial, Patient Handoffs, also called handovers or shiftchanges, are considered one of the most critical issues in patient safety. Read about Jeff’s thoughts on using simulation to raise awareness and hopefully help reduce the risk of handoffs.

Both Jeff and Dan Raemer are in Australia this week at the SimTecT Health 2010 conference. SimTect Health is the annual conference for the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Monday evening Jeff and Dan hosted a reception for Institute for Medical Simulation graduates. And, both are speakers at plenary sessions, round tables and workshops.