It took less than a year to get a medical training center for emergency medicine up and running at the Saint George Hospital University Medical Center. Two German companies, Umedic and incentiveMED, were also on board to see this project through to completion. The project goes by the official name of the Lebanese European Academy of Emergency Medicine (LEAEM). Day-to-day operations plus all technical and medical affairs were handled by Rainer Gaupp, a Steinbeis University Berlin bachelor’s student at the Steinbeis Business Academy who organized and ran the project for incentiveMED.
The timeframe certainly was challenging. Gaupp had just one year to set up the medical training center, doing everything from designing curricula for emergency medicine courses to providing teacher-training to Lebanese physicians and nursing specialists. Here, the goal was to provide the future inhouse instructors with international treatment guidelines based on standard courses and patient simulation methods. The reason for this was that to receive Joint Commission International accreditation, Saint George Hospital University Medical Center had required its employees to earn emergency medicine qualifications. The project also aimed to help Saint George stand out from other teaching hospitals in Lebanon. Patient simulation is considered an innovative, effective and viable teaching method and in the long term, Saint George intends on using patient simulation in its training courses for apprentices and university students. LEAEM trained 30 instructors within the first year.
LEAEM methods were also used in nearly 120 other courses involving 1,300 graduates. In addition to required courses, Gaupp and his team designed and put on others, such as the General Emergency Medicine Course (GEM), a comprehensive 18-day program aimed at physicians who spend most of their time in the ER. In October 2010, the first 12 participants graduated as GEM Providers. This course is truly a trailblazer, as it is the first of its kind in Lebanon. There is nothing like it in the country, either in terms of curriculum or teaching methods. LEAEM also launched a course called Patient Simulation Instructor (PSIC). As a result of this course, the project team won the business of Saint George Hospital’s main competitor: the American Heart Association’s training center at American University of Beirut (AUB). Twelve AUB instructors received training on the application and patient simulation methodology. After promoting their project, LEAEM acquired well over 30 hospital customers within one year. Two key state organizations among their clients are Internal Security Forces (the police) and the Lebanese Armed Forces.
With the project now in its second year, the training center is standing on its own two feet, complete with Lebanese staff. Local managers and medical faculty attached to Balamund University (in association with Saint George Hospital) are now at the helm. Although the project team has left the country, LEAEM is continuing as planned. New orders are flowing in, and the Lebanese are designing and running new courses. Both Saint George Hospital management and Gaupp’s team have received positive feedback – from Germany, too.