CHICAGO (CBS) — A new “smart dummy” simulation center opens soon at Rush University Medical Center, and it’s hoped greater patient care comes out of it.

Simulation Lab co-director Michael Kremer said phones have been ringing off the hook with medical students and doctors wanting to reserve time with the dummies in the center that opens to them on Monday. The official Grand opening is scheduled for next month.

Kremer said the new lab at Rush has eight so-called “smart dummies.” Two of them are “the high fidelity kind that we can inject medications into, and get realistic responses. They breathe. They have pulses. They exhale carbon dioxide.”

Studies have estimated between 200,00 and 400,000 preventable hospital deaths occur every year in the United States. Kremer said use of dummies in simulators goes a long way toward improving patient safety and quality of care.

“Working in a controlled environment like this, where it is safe to make errors and learn correction of those errors, is something that is tangibly decreasing the incidents of those problematic events,” he said.

Simulators of various kinds have been in use at Rush since 2002, according to Kremer.

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