A day of immersion in virtual reality training recently at Western State Hospital left WSHA leaders with lessons learned and insights to share about the training throughout the state. The training is used in Western State’s new employee orientation. It shares with staff the story of Lena, a single mom who experiences schizophrenia and enters care at the hospital. The realistic portrayal of what mental illness looks like was meant to reduce stereotypes and stigma, and to increase empathy for patients.
“It is incredible work — and clearly supports the path that Western is on toward bringing a culture of safety and empathy to the hospital. We left feeling inspired and very excited,” said Brooke Evans, WSHA’s director of behavioral health.
WSHA is the member-led association representing all 113 hospitals in Washington state, including Western State Hospital. The association works with hospitals on quality improvement covering areas such as health equity, patient care, and behavioral health, using an “all teach, all learn” model to share hospitals’ best practices with each other.