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Stanford Report, October 8, 2003

Award-winning Web-based video offers emergency department tour


New emergency department staff — as well as anyone who’s curious about the physical layout and day-to-day operations of Stanford Hospital’s emergency department — can now learn their way around the unit by viewing an award-winning Web-based video created by a team from the School of Medicine’s division of emergency medicine and the school’s Office of Information Resources and Technology.

The video, directed by Swaminatha Mahadevan, MD, assistant professor of surgery, was among nine presentations selected for awards this summer at the Innovations in Emergency Medicine Education exhibit held during the 2003 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting in Boston.

Mahadevan said the idea for the video came to him after he was assigned the task of improving the orientation process for rotating housestaff in the emergency department.

"Trying to coordinate individual orientations for continually rotating housestaff and new staff members had been an extremely challenging process," said Mahadevan. "Now they can start learning their way around the ED before they even get here."

The 30-minute video provides ED details including the roles staff members play, admission and discharge procedures and equipment available in each of the department’s 20 rooms.

If viewers watch the whole show, they will be treated to a few lighthearted skits featuring ED staff acting out the "do’s and don’ts" of emergency department practice, including Mahadevan getting punched out by a colleague during a bedside argu-ment. (Brawling in front of patients is a no-no.)

As far as Mahadevan knows, the recently produced Web-based orientation video is the first of its kind for an emergency department and perhaps any hospital unit in the country. He started working on the project in the 2002 and finished it this past year.

Mahadevan co-wrote the screenplay with emergency department physicians Michael Gisondi, MD, Shannon Sovndal, MD, and Gregory Gilbert, MD.

Credit also goes to the production crew, which includes camera operator Bindu Madhava and gaffer Joseph Brolan from the medical school’s Office of Information Resources and Technology, and editor Purna Prasad, assistant director, clinical engineering.

If you’d like to watch the video, click on the "Housestaff Orientation Video"

icon at the department’s Web site,

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