New Adult Simulation Room Orientation for Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas Learners

video lab orientation

Looks like the wonderful team from my old stomping grounds, the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas, have put together an updated orientation video for new learners to one of the adult simulation lab spaces. The tour was provided by Simulation Program Coordinator Rowena Saba and produced by Simulation Technology Specialist Jonathan Sturak. The CSCLV, which is a partnership of Nevada System of Higher Education schools including University of Nevada: Las Vegas School of Nursing, University of Nevada School of Medicine, and Nevada State College School of Nursing recently celebrated its 5-year anniversary! I hear the 31,000 sq.ft. facility is available to host events and is also providing simulation-based training activities for educators!

Such orientations are great ways to introduce the space to visual or auditory learners before they receive their physical orientation. This provides learners with additional opportunities to orient themselves to the process of simulation either remotely or before entering the lab — so that when simulation starts — they spend less time trying to remember where the oxygen masks are and more time focusing on patient care.

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The CSCLV has produced many of such wonderful orientations and promotional videos for a variety of spaces and programs which have already been viewed over 110,000 times! Think about the cost savings of one-time productions vs providing all those tours with staff time! Learn more by reading our post on “Why Video Production Saves Your Sim Program Time & Money“.

Visit the CSCLV website media page for more great examples of simulation videos!

Looking to create your own video orientations? Check out my 2-part comprehensive post on “Basic Video Production Techniques”

Medical Simulation News From Around the World

simulation news

Here’s the latest news from Simulation Champions around the world:

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Training Situational Awareness Through Simulation Valid to Reduce Surgical Errors in the Operating Room


Dr. Marlies Schijven, Past President of the Dutch Society for Simulation in Healthcare & Surgeon at Academic Medical Center Amsterdam just shared this great British Journal of Surgery Article entitled “Training situational awareness to reduce surgical errors in the operating room” M. Graafland, J. M. C. Schraagen, M. A. Boermeester, W. A. Bemelman and M. P. Schijven. The paper speaks to the need to train OR staff in the process of maintaining situational awareness, and found that medical simulation is a key methodology for accomplishing this training goal. Stress causes tunnel vision which leads to errors, but nonjudgemental communication practices and simulation training can open up our field of view for better patient outcomes. Recap of the study:


Surgical errors result from faulty decision-making, misperceptions and the application of suboptimal problem-solving strategies, just as often as they result from technical failure. To date, surgical training curricula have focused mainly on the acquisition of technical skills. The aim of this review was to assess the validity of methods for improving situational awareness in the surgical theatre.


Nine articles were considered eligible. These evaluated surgical team crisis training in simulated environments for minimally invasive surgery (4) and open surgery (3), and training courses focused at training non-technical skills (2). Two studies showed that simulation-based surgical team crisis training has construct validity for assessing situational awareness in surgical trainees in minimally invasive surgery. None of the studies showed effectiveness of surgical crisis training on situational awareness in open surgery, whereas one showed face validity of a 2-day non-technical skills training course.


To improve safety in the operating theatre, more attention to situational awareness is needed in surgical training. Few structured curricula have been developed and validation research remains limited. Strategies to improve situational awareness can be adopted from other industries.

What Needs to Happen?

Situational awareness is a key factor in Aviation Simulation training which is accomplished through CRM communication practices, where team members are taught to work together as a team to provide more comprehensive perspective during critical situations. The failure of healthcare communication is in the toxicity of work environments to be able to speak up without harsh criticism for doing so. Here’s an example of medical student having to go against his better judgement and speak up to save a patient’s life. For more of such reading check out Suzanne Gordon’s book “Beyond the Checklist: What Else Healthcare Can Learn from Aviation Teamwork & Safety“. Clearly, the research above continues to add to the enormous benefit of training opportunities simulation has to offer the healthcare community.

Read the full BJS Article on the Wiley website

Konsiderate & SimGHOSTS Presented to EMS SimulationIQ HQ


Last week, Education Management Solutions brought myself and Konsiderate CEO Jackie Morck out to their Exton Pennsylvania HQ just outside Philly to present about SimGHOSTS.Org and to their international team. Of course, we had to stop by the Rocky steps to do our best impersonation.

Jackie shared how the world has evolved through user generated content in Business to Consumer (B2C) spaces through websites like Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, RottenTomatoes, and more. Ten years ago customers had no way to know if a restaurant, book, or device was worth their dollar unless by reading expert opinion. But in today’s world, with websites like those and online social media outlets like twitter, facebook and LinkedIn — companies that acknowledge that customers own their brand can engage more powerfully to build better outcomes for everyone. Now with, medical simulation champions can have that same beneficial dialogue regarding hundred-thousand dollar A/V system purchases.

I shared about the interesting story that brought me to healthcare simulation by going back in time, demonstrating how all simulation champions have unique backgrounds which can contribute to the advancement of our field. Since there are only limited professional education opportunities in simulation (like the NYIT and Drexel Simulation Masters programs), most individuals have sidestepped into this field from careers in healthcare, IT and A/V, they have an enormous amount of experience to share! SimGHOSTS.Org events are specifically designed to showcase such experiences to those operating medical simulation technology labs.

There I also received a tour of their redesigned space about to become their non-profit Global Institute for Simulation Learning, which will be working with local healthcare partners to provide simulation training and sales demonstrations. Learn more about the GISL in my previous article here.

I also had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Product Manager Marco Angeli, to learn more about the amazing features his team has been developing on the past year for SimulationIQ Enterprise. The ability to use their Enterprise cloud system to track room utilization, scheduling, equipment, as well as launch student recordings, rendering options, and edit video playlists was mind blowing! Stay tuned for a future EMS webinar on the topic to learn a great deal more. Following my presentation, Gaumard representatives introduced the many features of their new Victoria birthing simulator and latest HAL 3201

For now, visit EMS’ SimulationIQ website to learn more about the original A/V recording company in medical simulation!

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Presenting Today at EMS International Sales Meeting


Today I was invited out to the international HQ of Education Management Solutions (EMS) in Exton Pennsylvania to present about the history of SimGHOSTS.Org and at their international sales team meeting!‘s co-founder and CEO Jackie Morck was also out to speak about the new home for online ratings and reviews of simulation products and services.

I will be connecting my presentation to the work of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, which points out that our careers are a lot more connected to the circumstances of our upbringing than we may previously have imagined. I know my story towards medical simulation was unique — just as I am sure your story is as well!

I’d love to hear how you started working in medical simulation, so please share with me and your community on the HealthySim Linkedin Group page.

Serious Fun: Video Gamer Group Simulates Military Engagements

simulated military

Check out this recent Polygon article by Charlie Hall entitled “Why We Fight: Inside Shack Tactical, The Elite Military Simulation Group” about an online clan of gamers that by the name of Shack Tactical and play ARMA III. One of the players, “Gluck” is a real life veteran who has 116,00 youtube followers that have watched his simulated military engagements more than 18,000,000 times.

Excerpt from the Polygon Article: 

Flying low above a pine forest, the two U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters suddenly broke formation. From my seat at the open door, the view tipped straight down for a moment before we leveled off. In the distance, backlit by a sky purpling with the dawn, I could see Alpha squad beginning to descend, their rotors kicking up a huge cloud of dust.

Our pilot pulled us into a shallow valley and I lost sight of both the other chopper and the sunrise. In the darkness I began to notice that my palms were sweating.

I’d played Arma, the complex military simulation series, before. I had plenty of experience in how to use the various small arms in the game, how to aim and reload and adjust them for range. I’d spent hundreds of hours learning to navigate across its environments on foot; through jungles with a map, over deserts by compass and once, while at sea, by using only the stars. Over the years I’d struggled with, and mastered, its bizarre user interface.

I was in Shack Tactical now, an elite Arma gaming group, embedded with them as a new recruit. To keep the experience pure I withheld my true identity as a writer. I was there to document a kind of role playing experience that can’t be found anywhere else, and I didn’t need someone showing off or holding back because I was there to observe them.

The way ShackTac plays is different from the military. Those differences have a lot to do with the weapons they choose to fight with (usually Cold War era, analogue weapons), but also the missions they create and play (like traditional meeting engagements, but also highly thematic scenarios like hostage rescues that require acting skills). There are rules and hierarchies; all of the players in ShackTac have a rank — from pFNG (pre-Fucking New Guy) to NCO (Non Commissioned Officer). But unlike the military, ShackTac doesn’t have fixed units — players can fight alongside whoever they like from night to night. Certain roles, however, are off limits to all but senior members. Pilot slots are reserved for only the most skilled players in the group.

But what makes ShackTac truly unique are the length of their games. Whether fighting against computer-controlled opponents or other members of the group, games are grueling, hours-long affairs. Sessions can last five hours or more, and each individual mission often ends only when the last member of ShackTac has died.

McFarlin fulfills an intangible role at ShackTac, and not just because he’s an officer in the U.S. Army. While he once had a dangerous firefight in Iraq, he’s had hundreds in Arma over the years. And because of that he’s a great in-game leader. He’s the the kind of player you want in your foxhole late on a Saturday night.

The group’s popularity is a big reason why Gluck now works with the company that makes Arma, Bohemia Interactive, as a consultant and video designer. He’s the author of an extensive series of freely available written and video tutorials for Arma products, all of which grew out of his experiences leading ShackTac. Called the Tips, Tactics and Procedures Manual, much of that content was bundled together to create the authoritative guidebook sold alongside Arma 3.

Read the full Polygon Coverage of this Simulated Battle Group here.

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MERCI ‘Trains the Trainer’ to Reduce Medical Error Through Simulab and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Partnership


MERCI ‘Trains the Trainer’ to Reduce Medical Error through Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Collaboration

Recently I learned about MERCI (Medical Error Reduction and Certification, Inc.), which rolls out of Simulab Corporation. MERCI has joined forces with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to deliver turnkey training programs that have been proven to reduce medical errors. Northwestern has completed extensive research work using CentraLineMan and other Simulab trainers to reduce mechanical errors and infections. Watch our CentraLineMan video demonstration and on-site interview with Dr. Jeffrey Barsuk, who also touches on his research entitled “Cost Savings From Reduced Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infection After Simulation-Based Education for Residents in a Medical Intensive Care Unit”.

About MERCI:

MERCI provides turn-key patient safety training programs designed specifically to serve hospitals with goals of reducing procedural medical errors and improving patient care. MERCI uses the Train-the-Trainer programs that have been developed and validated by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to not only reduce medical errors but to also create a net savings to the hospital.

MERCI provides:

  • On-site validated turnkey training program implementation for system-wide standardization of training.
  • On-site in-service and auditing services to reinforce performance standards and verify compliance.
  • Self-funded training programs that pay for themselves with cost savings through error reduction.

MERCI Satisfies all Patient Safety Advocates:

  • Medicine: Procedural training programs proven to improve patient outcomes by reducing mechanical errors and hospital acquired infections.
  • Risk: Validated programs proven to reduce the rate of adverse events and improve the overall culture of safety.
  • Finance: Training programs that show immediate return on investment by saving the hospital more than the cost of the training program by reducing expenses in three areas: non-reimbursed events, Medicare safety rating penalties, and litigation expenses.

Very excited to watch and learn more about how this new venture will reduce adverse events and costs through evidence-based training programs!

Determine the potential for adverse event reduction and the return on investment, learn more at

Combat & Casualty Care Covers Brooke Army Medical Center Sim Program

combat casualty care

Thomas J. Kai, Simulation Center Coordinator for Brooke Army Medical Center’s Sim Program, sent in this recent copy of Combat & Casualty Care, which highlighted their awesome department! Here is just a small excerpt from the complete article written by Steve Melito, TDM Correspondent, linked below.

San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) is the Department of Defense’s largest inpatient medical facility. Located at Fort Sam Houston, TX, this certified Level 1 Trauma Center spans 2.1 million square feet and counts 425 beds. As the hospital component of the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), SAMMC has also cared for thousands of servicemembers injured in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In addition to patient care functions, this state-of-the-art facility provides a range of education, training, and research programs. Part of Army Medical Command, the hospital houses a Simulation Center that has received a rare accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) for simulation instruction and research, which Lieutenant Colonel Rhonda Deen, the Medical Director of the SAMMC Simulation Center says “validates the high quality of the medical training at SAMMC.”

An Organizational Resource Today, the SAMMC SIM Center is one of the busiest of 10 facilities supported by the Army’s Central Simulation Committee, and just the second such facility to earn SSH accreditation. The SIM Center works with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, which operates the Army Burn Center at SAMMC, and supports Forward Surgical Teams who train with tools such as the Burn Navigator, a medical simulator that helps teach non-burn specialists how to make medical decisions regarding patient resuscitation. “The Simulation Center is an organizational resource,” explains Robert V. Coffman, the SIM Center’s Simulation Administrator. In addition to current research programs, the SIM Center evaluates new projects that validate simulation as a viable tool for training and education. The Center also provides support for 35 graduate medical education (GME) programs and subprograms, nine Army and Air Force enlisted training programs, an emergency medical technician refresher course, and annual skills validation training.

Expanded Education, Google Glass, and Hybrid Simulation

Medical simulation is evolving rapidly, and facilities like the SAMMC SIM Center regularly learn of new products with exciting possibilities. At the same time, medical professionals also devise new applications for existing products. “Emerging technologies are great,” Coffman says, “but thinking outside the box using current simulators has so many benefits.” As an example, he cites the work of Dr. Bonnie Haupt at Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare Systems. In a practice dissertation for the Doctorate in Nursing Program at Sacred Heart University, Dr. Haupt provided pre-operative education to veterans who were scheduled to receive coronary artery bypass graft surgeries. Coffman says that Dr. Haupt’s research found that “veterans who participated in simulation education revealed a significant increase in knowledge and satisfaction over traditional teaching methods,” including a reduction in patient anxiety. For Coffman, Dr. Haupt’s study suggests that simulation education is a “valuable tool” not just for training medical professionals, but also for educating patients and their families. “I would love to get SAMMC in for a follow-on study,” he adds. Just as apps for handheld mobile devices help medical trainees to test their knowledge and build critical thinking skills, patients and their families might better understand why specific treatment decisions are made. In addition to this research, Coffman is also optimistic about Google Glass, which he says “will be a huge leg up for training evaluation.” By enabling an evaluator to see what a student is focusing upon, Google Glass can help trainers to provide individualized feedback with regard to technologies such as CT, X-Ray, or ultrasound. In this way, evaluators can share a trainee’s point-of-view and “really get into their mind and see their rationale for patient care,” Coffman says.

Technologies such as the HC1 headset computer project from Motorola Solutions may also hold possibilities. Powered by voice command and equipped for remote video chats and the display of complex schematics, the HC1 uses Microsoft Windows and can connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, or mobile hot spot. Designed for harsh environments and remote locations, this hands-free mobile computer could also let trainers see what trainees see. Hybrid simulation is also expected to play a major role in medical training. According to Coffman, examples include the prompt birthing simulator, which allows real-time patient interaction with a trained actor or standardized patient (SP) while a simulator recreates the complication of a simulated birth. The cut suit, another hybrid simulation example, involves an SP who acts as if he or she were involved in a traumatic accident. The suit replaces actual injuries that must be treated while a patient is conscious. “This adds the realism that static or even hi-fi manikins lack,” Coffman says.

Thomas also sent in some pictures of his latest moulage! He wrote that “the one with the eye has a small impalement in the inner canthus (a screw). The other is a broken ankle where I used epoxy putty and paint, then applied make-up.” 




Read the complete Combat & Casualty Care Article here and then check out the BAMC Sim Center Page here!

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NBC Live Report Covers Cedars-Sinai Women’s Guild Simulation Center


Recently I had the wonderful privilege of visiting The Women’s Guild Simulation Center For Advanced Clinical Skills at Cedars-Sinai of Los Angeles, which you can read all about here. Seems like is not the only news group to pick up on this amazing simulation facility as Southern California’s NBC Channel 4 recently visited the center for this video report:

Phillips and his cardiac surgical team practice their complex procedures on a regular basis at Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills at Cedars-Sinai. The $15 million dollar facility is a fully functional operating room with one big difference: the patients are state-of-the-art mannequins. Their skin feels and behaves like human skin; they have exact replicas of human organs; and they can be programmed with vital signs and medical problems. They can even bleed, talk, hyperventilate and give birth.

It’s as close to the real thing without putting a human patient at risk. “If you’re doing complex surgeries you’re able to simulate the actual surgery you’re going to do,” Dr. Alistair Phillips explains.

During the simulation, the medical team is challenged with a series of complications including equipment problems, patient complications, and emergencies. Working through these problems in advance of the actual surgery, not only improves their teamwork, but helps them prepare for the unexpected. Dr Bruce says “That means cutting down on risks and complications and improving results.” Read the full NBC4 News Story here.

Be sure to read my interview here with Center Manager Russell Metcalfe-Smith to learn more!

TEDxArendal: ‘How collaboration makes it happen’ by Tor-Inge Garvik of Laerdal’s Global Health

laerdal global health

Just this past week TEDx posted this amazing presentation by Laerdal Global Health Industrial Engineer Tor-Inge Garvik. This is an updated presentation from Tore Laerdal’s TEDxStavanger presentation from a few years ago. This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Tor Inge leads an ambitious development team focusing on global health and innovation. The non-profit company Laerdal Global Health’s goal is to help save the lives of hundreds of thousands newborns and mothers every year.

Working within strong global partnerships, they have made solutions available that dramatically improves survival at day of birth. Watch Tor-Inge talk about the products, the innovation, and how a tight cooperation with people in the field makes it all possible.

Tor Inge is an Industrial Designer with 14 years of experience with design in low resource settings. He leads an ambitious development team with studios in Norway and India. Working within strong international alliances for global health and innovation, the not-for-profit company Laerdal Global Health aims to develop and make solutions available that will help save hundreds of thousands of newborns and mothers every year.

Tor Inge obtained his masters from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU). Before joining Laerdal in 2007, he worked as a designer for the Peter Opsvik design studio. He has also worked as a program manager for Design without Borders (Foundation for Design and architecture in Norway) and with the Design for Sustainability group at TU Delft. He has a keen interest in collaborative innovation and user centered design.

About Laerdal Global Health

Laerdal Global Health (LGH) is a not-for-profit company that develops durable, simple, culturally adaptable, affordable products and programs aimed at helping save lives of newborns and mothers in low-resource countries.

Goals: Every day, 800 mothers die giving birth. Every day, about 8 000 newborn babies die. The majority of these deaths are preventable. We believe we can help.By 2015, our goal is to help save 250,000 more lives per year. We will reach our goals by:

  • Helping train and equip more than 1 million birth attendants
  • Introducing 12 – 15 disruptive innovative solutions that are durable, simple, culturally adaptable, and affordable
  • Catalyzing innovative partnerships and alliances
  • Establishing financial self-sustainability*

Ninety-five percent of Day of Birth deaths occur in just 75 countries identified by the UN Millennium Development Goals. To support these countries, we develop products and programs implemented at scale through global partnerships and alliances.

About TEDx

With TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Learn more about Laerdal Global Health here, and TEDx Events here!