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Press Release
May 2, 2006
Denise Ciccarelli
(843) 792-8421


Hill-Rom gives $1 million to help build simulated clinical laboratory

Charleston, SC - MUSC's College of Nursing is building one of the first large-scale, interprofessional simulated clinical laboratories in South Carolina, thanks in part to an in kind gift from an Indiana-based healthcare equipment company.

The donation made by Hill-Rom, a subsidiary of Hillenbrand Industries, Inc., will equip the 11,000-square foot laboratory with hospital beds, furniture and other necessary medical equipment. This technology will give healthcare providers the opportunity to learn high-risk procedures by practicing them on manikins in a realistic clinical setting.

Dean Gail Stuart of the College of Nursing is excited about the opportunity this gift will provide the faculty, students and trainees. "Given the critical nursing shortage and the significant impact of medical errors, we believe that simulated learning experiences can help us transform not only educational processes but also caregiving practices," she said.

"Thanks to the innovation of simulated learning environments, healthcare providers can now learn many high-risk procedures in a controlled environment," said Dr. John Schaefer, Endowed Chair for Medical Simulation at the South Carolina Center for Quality Health Care and Patient Safety. "This lab will have clear advantages, because it will allow providers to perfect their skills and better prepare themselves to perform them upon real patients safely and with maximum efficiency."

The laboratory, which is expected to be completed in spring 2007, will be used to train students from the College of Nursing, the College of Health Professions and the College of Medicine in a wide range of procedures, from starting an intravenous fluid line to more complex procedures based on highly advanced technologies.

The laboratory will also be available for the emergency preparedness training of "first responders" from entities such as the Red Cross, EMS, fire departments, police departments and DHEC. Increased patient safety and a higher level of advanced training in emergency procedures for healthcare workers are among the many benefits of such a simulated environment.

For more than 75 years, Hill-Rom has used technology and clinical expertise to help health care professionals safely deliver effective and efficient care to their patients in acute care, long-term care and home care environments. The company's extensive product and service offering includes: patient care beds, stretchers, therapeutic surfaces and devices, patient flow and workflow solutions, nurse communication systems, headwalls and facility assessments.

"At a time when patient safety and nursing turnover are both major concerns in the health care profession, we believe this effort has the potential to have a tremendous impact on both," said Peter Soderberg, Hill-Rom's president and CEO. "Better prepared medical workers are more likely to handle emergency situations safely and efficiently, keeping themselves and patients out of harm's way. This simulated laboratory is a perfect example of Hill-Rom's commitment to enabling caregivers to improve the safety and health outcomes of patients. We're very grateful the Medical University of South Carolina allowed us to play a big part in helping tomorrow's caregivers to learn."

Hill-Rom, which is headquartered in Batesville, Ind., and has 6,500 employees around the world, also provides comprehensive asset management programs and on-demand medical equipment rental, utilizing its nearly 200 service centers located strategically throughout the United States. The company also offers expert clinical and equipment services and programs that can help improve asset productivity, operational efficiency and patient outcomes.

"We are truly grateful for Hill-Rom's gift and their partnership, which has enabled the College of Nursing to realize its dream of building this amazing learning resource," said Stuart. "We believe this laboratory will have a positive, long-term impact on the delivery of health care services throughout the entire state, and we are truly grateful for Hill-Rom's role in making this happen."

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