Sim Center revolutionizes medical education

by Hennepin Healthcare


Join us for an Open House from 2-4 PM on Monday, January 7

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), already a nationally recognized teaching hospital, is opening a brand new, state-of-the art medical simulation facility. The Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center (“Sim Center”), opening January 7, 2013, will support education programs that train more than 20,000 caregivers each year.

Located in the lower level of the state’s first Level I Trauma Center, the 10,000 square foot  Sim Center area provides a safe environment for health care professionals to practice real-life medical situations and procedures in rooms with the equipment found in operating rooms, emergency departments or other treatment areas – including the electronic health record.

Hart_Danielle2010“Being immersed in the learning experience and functioning like they would in a real patient-care scenario builds confidence and enhances skills at many levels,” explains Dr. Danielle Hart, Director of the Simulation Center. “Learners are able to practice procedural and medical decision- making skills, as well as communication, teamwork and systems expertise skills.  These are all integral parts of providing excellent health care and improving patient satisfaction and can be incorporated into each learning experience at the Sim Center.”

The Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center features:

  • High-fidelity rooms that appear similar to patient care areas and have mannequins that are life-sized and computer-operated. The mannequins have pulses, respirations, and vital signs, and are able to converse and interact with the learners.  Each high fidelity room has a control room with one-way mirrors so instructors can observe and guide learners.
  • Observation/debriefing rooms also have one way mirrors so that additional learners can watch and learn from scenarios, even when they are not the main participants.  The rooms are fully wired with video monitoring and playback capabilities, and are used for the instructor to debrief the participants and review the main learning points following each case.
  • Standardized patient (SP) rooms, where actors play the role of a patient, to teach and refine patient/family communication and examination skills.
  • Procedural task trainers that teach technical skills for a wide array of procedures.
  • Conference rooms for large group discussion.

The multidisciplinary training center offers educational programs for nurses, physicians, pre-hospital providers, and other allied health professionals from HCMC as well as community groups from across the region.

“By revolutionizing our medical education program to offer this type of hands-on learning, we hope to ensure that all patients continue to receive the best and safest care possible from every professional trained at HCMC,” says Dr. Hart.


Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 462-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis, primary care clinics in St. Anthony, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Richfield and in Minneapolis in the Whittier Neighborhood and on East Lake Street; retail clinics in Bloomington and Eden Prairie, an employee clinic in the Hennepin County Government Center, and a Neurology and Specialty Clinic in the 212 Medical Center in Chaska.

For more information about the Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center, go to You can also see a glimpse of the Sim Center on YouTube at