The Danish Institute for Medical Simulation (DIMS) at Herlev University Hospital, Copenhagen was established in 2001. The spread of medical simulation in Denmark owes much to the university, where the Anesthesia department played a central role in the development of a Danish simulator for anesthesia in the early 1990’s. Consequently, staff from the hospital gained early experience of simulation training. Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists grew enthusiastic with this new way of training and wanted to make it available to more. Hence, the idea of an institute for simulation training was formed. 

The Capital Region of Denmark comprises eight hospitals, including Herlev University Hospital, which is the second largest in Denmark. It serves a population of 700,000, offers a high selection of medical specialities and facilitates cancer treatment for the Danish population altogether. Herlev has 26 departments and 4,000 employees.

A collaborative effort
Key drivers from Herlev began to conduct simulation courses for anesthesia personnel around the country, and as a result, medical simulation training became better known across Denmark. The Capital Region recognized the potential impact simulation training would have, if healthcare personnel from all eight hospitals in the region gained access to it. Following a time of deliberation, the Capital Region decided to fund the institute for simulation. The financial support became a turning point for Herlev University Hospital, and resulted in the establishment of DIMS.

Tailoring simulation to individual needs
DIMS is an impressive simulation facility that occupies more than 30,000 square feet, comprising 13 full-scale simulation rooms, 5 control rooms, 7 debriefing rooms and 3 classrooms. Owing to the diversity of healthcare specialities that DIMS supports, the educational context varies according to the needs and priorities of each group. This is achieved by involving domain experts from the relevant specialities in the planning of the simulation courses, thus ensuring that specific educational needs are fully met. Accordingly, the instructors are a diversified group in terms of medical background, and this is considered to be a substantial benefit. 

Training equipment to deliver these courses includes, 1 SimMan 3G, 8 SimMan, 3 SimBaby, 1 SimNewB, 6 Audio visual systems, 8 PCs with MicroSim, 4 Resusci Anne Skills Stations and 3 ALS simulators, along with a number of skills trainers and manikins. 

DIMS collaborates with the Center for Clinical Education (CEKU), Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, actively participates in national and international simulation networks and acts as a knowledge center for new simulation centers in Denmark.