Albany Medical College Unveils New Simulation Center


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Albany Medical College Unveils New Simulation Center

October 10, 2011 - Albany , NY

ALBANY, N.Y., October 10, 2011-A new medical simulation facility unveiled today at Albany Medical College will transform medical education in the region. The 12,000 square-foot Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center (PSCCC) incorporates lifelike computerized mannequins and other virtual technologies, simulated hospital settings such as operating rooms and intensive care units, as well as trained actors, to portray real medical conditions. In this environment, medical students, residents and other health care providers can receive hands-on training in a safe and controlled environment before treating patients.

According to Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president of health affairs at Albany Medical Center, the ultimate goal of the center is to improve patient safety. "This simulated patient environment is designed to enable our students to practice their medical decision making, technical skills and even their bedside manner before ever coming into contact with patients," he said. "With deliberate practice, our students can hone their skills and we can be confident in their ability to deliver quality, patient-centric care."

The simulation mannequins can be programmed to react to a number of medical situations and stimuli with lifelike tears, sweat, blood, and even fluctuation in blood pressure and pulse rates. From a control room, instructors can manipulate the mannequins to respond to various events such as adverse reaction to anesthesia or cardiac arrest, thereby testing the student's knowledge and ability to respond to and treat the situation. The center also houses the College's standardized patient program, in which actors are trained to portray patients in clinical encounters with students and then provide feedback on the performance of the required skills, as well as communication and bedside manner.

Other features of the new center include:

  • Four multi-purpose simulation suites, including an "operating room" and an "intensive care unit"
  • A  training room for virtual reality computer-based simulations and models that mimic procedures such as ultrasounds, angiography and endoscopy, as well as childbirth
  • A training console for the da Vinci minimally invasive robotic surgical system 
  • A virtual reality device with 3D haptic characteristics to simulate IV insertion 
  • 16 exam rooms complete with video monitoring for standardized patient interactions
  • 70 standardized patients
  • Debriefing rooms for instructor monitoring and feedback
  • A conference room with video teleconferencing capabilities

"The Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center is more than a facility. It represents Albany Medical Center's steadfast determination to drive the standard of care and quality that the nearly three million people in our region need, expect and deserve," said James J. Barba, president and chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center. "It is incumbent upon us, as it has been since the College was founded 172 years ago, to not only provide our students with the best training and education possible but also to extend that opportunity to every medical professional in our region." 

While medical students and residents will be trained using the technology, the PSCCC will also be used by other health care providers at Albany Medical Center and throughout the region to train with new techniques and technologies, for competency assessments, as well as for disaster preparedness exercises and emergency medical service (EMS) instruction.

The total cost of construction and equipment for the PSCCC is approximately $8.8 million, and has been funded by state and federal grants as well as through philanthropic donations, including a $100,000 gift from Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP) to fund the CDPHP Case Development Lounge, where the faculty and standardized patient actors will meet to discuss the medical scenarios they perform.

"As a physician-founded and guided health plan, we at CDPHP recognize that well-trained and highly qualified physicians are the gateway to high quality care and good health for our members and the community-at-large," said John D. Bennett, MD, president and CEO, CDPHP. "The Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center will greatly enhance medical education, training, and practice in this region and will also serve as a model and resource for others."

For more information on the PSCCC or to view a video, visit

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is the largest private employer in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals,  and which also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: or

Media Inquiries:

Sue  Ford

(518) 262 - 3421

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