Second Life aides disaster preparedness at Chicago hospital

Emergency Management Alert, October 6, 2009

Second Life, a software program through which people use avatars to create a lifelike virtual world for themselves, is proving quite useful for those in hospitals preparing for disasters, reports InformationWeek.

Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago has been using Second Life to show employees how to evacuate patients in an emergency. The hospital hired a contractor to build a Second Life version of its campus. The virtual hospital was made to look similar to the actual hospital. The contractor used photographs of the hospital as well as blueprints and images from Google Earth, according to InformationWeek.

Training exercises include about 10 people from various departments, such as nursing, security, and administration. Participants are given a quick tour and guide of how to use the virtual world, and then are thrown into an emergency situation. Children's Hospital said the training saves money and adds a sense of reality to the training.

Source: InformationWeek

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