Monday, November 21, 2016

DEOHS Industrial Hygiene Program Alumni Present at NOHC 2016

DEOHS Alumni Sarah Wolz, MS and Liz Kindred, MS presented at NOHC 2016. Sarah, current Program Content Coordinator for the Northwest Center's Continuing Education Program, summarized her experience at NOHC.

"It was a pleasure to 'tag team' present at NOHC '16 in Portland this year with Liz Kindred, Safety Officer at Harborview Medical Center and fellow UW DEOHS alumni. Liz's presentation covered the 'state of the issue' and all the planning, training and preparations Harborview made for accepting potentially infected patients during the often chaotic Ebola virus outbreak in 2014. 
Our CE presentation highlighted a Washington Labor & Industries SHIP-grant funded training and education project we completed last year with the Harborview Emergency Department and the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare. Using the Ebola outbreak, preparations, and the necessity to wear high-level PPE as a 'case study' for looking at occupational safety, we employed simulation technology, virtual reality technology, and a semi-quantitative risk assessment tool to study certain procedures healthcare providers must do while caring for an Ebola-infected patient. We looked for where there might be "failures" in the procedures that could lead to occupational exposure, and developed step-by-step protocols to try to engineer these failures out of the system. 
Two sample training tools were developed: a stepwise app for the protocol to be used on handheld devices to refresh caregivers' training and improve safety by guiding them through critical steps, and a simple virtual reality "google cardboard" glasses tool, using 3D/360 degree images of the patient isolation room and learner feedback technology. Both tools were demonstrated at the Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety/Continuing Education booth at NOHC.  
While Ebola virus may not be a current threat today, we all know that status can change rapidly with a re-emergence or other similarly contagious emergent disease. Occupational health professionals understand the importance for preparedness and the rigorous training required. We hope this presentation sparked interest in exploring the uses of new technologies in developing more interactive and interesting tools for effective training and education."
Resources from the above mentioned Ebola patient handling course are available on the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety's Continuing Education Program website. Resources include presentation slides and recordings, instructions to download the developed app, and downloadable resource sheets.

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