Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a nonprofit institution that has provided premium pediatric health care for over 100 years. The first of its kind in Southern California, CHLA is a leader in providing innovative teaching and training solutions, as demonstrated by its state-of-the-art Simulation Labs (SIM Labs) that provide immersive, hands-on learning experiences for students, nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners.

As part of its commitment to teaching, CHLA has a partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine that creates a direct route for medical and nursing students to become employees of the children’s hospital upon graduation. To expand upon this partnership, CHLA reached out to Petra to expand and upgrade its educational space with state-of-the-art equipment and supplies.

The goal for this new SIM Lab is to provide an even more immersive learning experience with realistic rooms that use mannequin patients and the same equipment currently used in the hospital’s clinical practices. These spaces allow participants to practice and develop clinical expertise without risk of patient harm and are often used in an onboarding capacity for training as well as a practice for up-and-coming innovative procedures. While the former SIM Lab was comprised of just two small rooms, this new space will be three times the size to include identical replicas of the hospital’s trauma Operating Room (OR), patient intensive care unit (ICU) rooms, offices, waiting areas and more.

Below are sample photos of some of the equipment that will be included in the CHLA Sim Lab:

Petra’s leader on this project is our Director of Medical Equipment Planning, Susan Harman. Alongside the project owner from CHLA, her role is to determine the SIM Lab’s clinical needs as it relates to equipment, establish budgets, track any changes to that budget or the technologies and then communicate that information to CHLA leadership for final approval. Upon implementation, she has been providing project management support, facilitating the delivery and installation of all the equipment. Medical facility planning is typically an afterthought for the owner of a project like this, but CHLA understood that the intricacies of mirroring real facilities in a simulated setting would require partnership with a medical equipment planning expert like Petra.

From the start of the project, Petra took on an educational, hands-on mindset, quickly forging a side-by-side partnership with the CHLA leadership through several up-front meetings to understand all the simulation team’s needs, including laser-focused details like what to include in the simulation room supply cabinets. Susan and her team worked closely with the CHLA OR and respiratory therapy teams to identify and match correct models of equipment currently in use at the actual hospital and met with department leaders who would be using the simulation lab to ensure correct supplies were procured. In addition to the simulated medical rooms, there are also control rooms built where the simulations can be monitored and reviewed with EMS software, which is managed by CHLA’s IT team. While this SIM Lab development is technically a first for the Petra team, our expansive experience building the real-world versions of these simulated medical rooms has proved to be critical.

Construction on CHLA’s SIM Lab is projected to finish in May of 2021, and we are proud of the educational vision delivered within these learning spaces. By partnering with Petra, CHLA is creating better futures for their clinicians and healthier futures for the patients they serve.

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