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West Coast General Hospital Perinatal team building through Postpartum Escape Room

Posted May 29, 2023

Written by Island Health Communications


A recent skill and knowledge-development initiative challenged perinatal providers to solve a simulated postpartum hemorrhage in order to “escape”. It’s a concept with the potential to be utilized in departments and sites throughout Island Health.


WCGH has been fortunate to receive supportive funding through Rural Surgical Obstetrical Network (RSON) over the last two years, explains Glenda Bertolucci, RSON Quality Nurse at WCGH. Through RSON funding, a variety of projects have been developed and implemented through that quality improvement nurse position.   


A PPH (postpartum hemorrhage) Escape Room was one of the projects developed and implemented last fall. 


She described the escape room exercise as a team-building, skill and knowledge-development initiative. Two physicians and 12 perinatal nurses have participated in the WCGH PPH Escape Room exercise to date. 


“It was very well received and all providers really enjoyed it,” Glenda said. 


The Escape Room, ready to go.

The PPH Escape Room provided a patient scenario that all perinatal providers must be ready to manage quickly. All required equipment and processes to manage a PPH were set up in one of the Labour & Delivery Rooms on the WCGH Perinatal Unit. Each team consisted of two or three providers.  


 Before implementation of any interventions, the providers had to either answer or complete a pre-set question or activity. With the completion of each activity, the team would be given a letter answering the final question at the end of the scenario. Team members were provided an option for ‘one call out or on-line search’ to answer a question.            


Each team was timed during their PPH escape. Team members created their own team name. Team photos were taken at the end of each PPH Escape scenario. The pictures are posted on the Perinatal Unit as an acknowledgement of the value of team networking and communication for all emergencies. 


Part of the brilliance behind the exercise is its portability and ease of set-up and take-down. The PPH Escape Room was created so that any provider could take the pre-made PPH Box and set it up in a vacant Birthing Room. The RSON QI Nurse (Bertolucci) and Perinatal Educator (Danielle Eely, RN) have taken the lead to set up and facilitate these first PPH escape rooms. 


“Actually doing the PPH escape went over several days,” Glenda says. “Opportunities to complete this team building activity occurred during quiet moments on the perinatal unit. When I noted a moment that would work for providers, I would put up the simulation. The sessions took just under 30 minutes for completion of activity, debriefing and reinforcement of key skills to manage PPH. 


“I built the PPH escape to be easy to set up and clean up over a few minutes. It’s easy to also take “on the road” to other sites or settings in the hospital. This project idea can be shared with any other teams that are interested.” 

Glenda Bertolucci, RSON Quality Nurse

Glenda said the PPH Escape Room idea came from a Sepsis Escape Room project that came to WCGH in 2021. Tamara Young has been the Lead in providing Sepsis Escape Room to sites across Island Health. That escape room exercise came to Campbell River Hospital in December.​ 


What’s next for the PHH Escape Room? 


From left, Danielle Eely and Glenda Bertolucci​, at Lake Louise.

“We will be utilizing this activity for new providers/nurses that come to WCGH,” Glenda says. “We also plan to bring it to Tofino General Hospital during a skills day. Future planning may include other perinatal or perioperative topics built as an escape room.”  



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