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Lou Halamek

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Member, Board of Directors
Lou Halamek, MD
USA

About Lou Halamek

I am a Professor and Associate Chief for Training and Assessment in the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University and a practicing neonatologist in the level IV neonatal intensive care unit at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.  My clinical interests focus on resuscitation; I am a member of the National Steering Committee of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).  I have been involved in simulation-based training and research since 1995 and founded the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE, http://cape.stanford.edu) in 2002 where my team has been training bedside healthcare professionals and simulation instructors from around the world.  I have been a member of the International Pediatric Simulation Society since 2012 as well as a member of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare since 2004, having served on the SSH Board of Directors from 2005 through 2008.

I believe that simulation holds much promise to enhance human and system performance in healthcare – but only if we maintain our focus on the patient.  IPSS, as a group of healthcare professionals dedicated to children, is the perfect vehicle for making this happen.  When I compare how simulation is used in healthcare with how I have seen it used in other industries (where the risk to human life is similarly high), I see distinct differences in facets such as instructor preparation, scenario design, debriefing, expectations placed upon trainees, and instructor and trainee assessment.  We can learn much about optimizing how we use simulation on behalf of our patients if we actively engage our colleagues in these other industries in a meaningful way.  Coupled with the experience and enthusiasm of our members, we can continue to build upon the solid foundation that exists within IPSS.

I also believe that simulation is an ideal tool to study important clinical questions that are difficult or impossible to answer in the real clinical environment.  Research conducted at CAPE has investigated topics such as development of a lexicon for precise, concise communication during high-risk, time-sensitive clinical activities such as resuscitation; determination of optimal bedside data display (creation of the medical “glass cockpit”); calculation of the financial return on investment for a simulation-based training program in the management of obstetric emergencies; comparison of the accuracy and speed of different methods of venous access in the newborn undergoing resuscitation; optimal ergonomic design of a neonatal code cart; assessment of the accuracy of human senses in determining heart rate during resuscitation; and development of a simulation-based palliative care curriculum for pediatric fellows to improve communication with patients and families facing end-of-life issues. The task of a board member of a professional society is to assist that society in its goal of providing a valuable service to its members.  The truly rewarding aspect of being a member of the IPSS board of directors is in knowing that by providing a service to the pediatric healthcare community, one also plays a role in enhancing the care of children around the world.  That is a task worth undertaking.

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