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Heart Health

Keeping Patients Safe in Our Premises

Keeping Patients Safe in Our Premises


Inter-Professional Crisis Management Simulation Programme

Strengthening patient safety especially for high-risk patients has always been a key aim for National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS). Ms. Tay Miao Qin and Ms. Janice Kee show how the Patient Safety (PS) team achieves this aim through a well-designed simulation programme.

In alignment with NUHCS’s patient safety guidelines, four facilities were identified as key service units that require rapid coordinated care due to their high-risk patient profiles and complexity of procedures performed there. The units are Angiography Centre, Diagnostic Cardiology Lab, Diagnostic Nuclear Lab and Coronary Care Unit.

The Simulation Programme

The PS team, led by Asst. Prof. Edgar Tay, Senior Consultant, NUHCS, developed our Inter-Professional Crisis Management Simulation Programme with support from Nursing and Operations and Administration divisions.


Launched in October 2016, the programme adopts patient safety strategies, team strategies and tools to enhance performance and patient safety (TeamSTEPPS).

Both strategies seek to enhance staff’s awareness towards the prevention of medical errors and adverse event occurrence. The programme also harnesses key concepts on teamwork, leadership, situation monitoring, mutual support and communication.

Trainings and Discussions

Since its initial launch, the PS team has conducted five in-situ simulation programmes with 40 participants including clinicians, nurses, medical technologists, radiographers and patient service associates.

In-depth discussions were held with site supervisors and participants before the initiation of the programme. The PS team created realistic clinical scenarios as training platforms with the utilisation of manikins. The simulations were then video recorded for the trainers to review and identify areas for improvement.

Future Plans

The programme has been warmly received, with marked improvements in team performance and communication during crisis.

The PS team has made future plans for the programme, which includes: 

  • Bi-annual simulations for each critical unit
  • Simulations on inter-department complex cases such as operative theatre nurses, cardiothoracic surgeons, anaesthetists and perfusionists
  • Train-the-trainer programme to empower teams and ensure continuity of safe quality care for patients


By Ms. Tay Miao Qin and Ms. Janice Kee