UPM-NIH researchers to establish Simulation-Based Learning Laboratory for health disaster preparedness

To advance disaster response among health care professionals and first responders, a team of researchers from the University of the Philippines Manila - National Institutes of Health (UPM-NIH) is establishing a Simulation-Based Learning Laboratory which shall house realistic outcomes-based training designed to replicate experiences of disasters for better preparedness.

The simulation-based learning laboratories are cheaper means of conducting realistic training techniques that improve preparedness for patient care, staff management, and interagency coordination, not only for managers and responders but also for the general public.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, the said laboratory is part of the program titled “Center for Innovations for Cost-Effective Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Health (DRMM-H) Outcomes in NCR and the Philippines” led by Dr. Carlos Primero Gundran, professor at the Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies

Learned things not practiced are easily lost and forgotten. In order for muscle memory to be developed, we should immediately apply the theories we learned during training. Simulation-Based learning is thus essential in decreasing morbidity and mortality during disaster response,” said Dr. Gundran.

The team is formulating simulation training plans which consist of exercises designed to enhance memory, tabletop exercises from scene to hospital, testing communication effectiveness, and immediate patient care, among others, as part of the program’s overall objectives.

The project also aims to determine the training needs of healthcare workers and first responders in health response and identify available simulation training hardware and software around the world that can be used in DRRM-H programs. The laboratory will also benefit government agencies, NGOs responding to disasters, institutes, and trainers.

Simulation-based learning is being used in medical education to develop health professionals’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes, whilst protecting patients from unnecessary risks, as it provides a valuable tool in learning and resolving practical dilemmas.

The project is part of the Niche Centre in the Region for R & D or NICER, a sub-program of DOST’s Science for Change which aims to advance the level of innovation in the country by providing R & D funding for public and private institutions to strengthen research in the regions. For more details about NICER, catch the replay of DOST’s report here.