The Newest Medical Simulation Center Designs May Surprise You!

designing a sim center

Looking for inspiration for your new sim center? Check out these four new simulation buildings, including a very innovative design from Columbia University:

1) The Vagelos Education Center, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler (as Executive Architect), is a new medical and graduate education building at Columbia University’s Medical Center. The building’s design—which weaves together state-of-the-art medical simulation clinics and labs, tech-enabled classrooms, communal areas for study and socializing, and event spaces—reflects how medicine is taught, learned, and practiced in the 21st century.

Learn more about the Vagelos Education Center at Columbia University

2) The Stephen F. Austin State University Richard and Lucille Dewitt School of nursing is one of only three facilities in Texas that has an onsite simulation lab: The Ed and Gwen Cole Simulation Laboratory, a Laerdal Center of Educational Excellence. The simulation lab is 9,000 square feet with a 10-bed medical surgical area, labor and delivery area, nursery and neonatal area, health assessment lab and an emergency room area. Real medical equipment like IV pumps and crash carts add to the reality of the simulation lab. “It’s a bridge between what we teach the students in class and actual clinical, face-to-face, live humans,” David Smith, coordinator of the simulation lab and clinical instructor, said. “It gives the students a chance to put into practice what they’re learning in class in a risk-free environment.”

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Learn more about the new Austin State Sim Lab

3) Hibbing Community College: Over the past three years, Hibbing Community College has developed their new hi-tech Healthcare Simulation Center. They have three rooms that include two clinic bays, an OB and ICU unit, a homecare area, and an infectious control setup. “It’s just cutting edge. It’s preparing students for future practice and it’s real life right in front of them,” said the Director of Nursing, Sandy Gustafson. The health center features high-fidelity mannequins that breathe, have pulses and heart tones, and one even simulates child birth. Students get the hands-on experience they wouldn’t get just by watching in a real hospital setting.

Learn more about the Hibbing Community College Sim Center

4) St. Clair County Community College: The students were working in the newly renovated health simulation labs in the AJ Theisen Building. The renovation is the result of a $350,000 project that combined older medical and surgical simulation equipment with new tools and moved them to the annex of the Theisen Building. Having students work in simulation labs, in which the verbal manikin have pulses and students can hear their hearts and lungs, is not exactly a new concept for SC4 — they have been doing this for the past six years. However, the old simulation lab was in the basement of the Clara E. Mackenzie Building and in a less realistic setting.

Learn more about the St. Clair County Simulation Building

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New Paper: Human Factors in the Design of Medical Simulation Tools


Now one for those designing medical simulators! From Procedia Manufacturing Volume 3, 2015, Pages 288–292 comes “Human Factors in the Design of Medical Simulation Tools” written by Norah AlRomi from the Software Engineering Department at Prince Sultan University:


This paper describes the human factor design issues relevant to medical simulation systems. Decision making in medical domains is an increasingly complex task that involves a number of stakeholders, sub-specialties and technologies. Medical simulation creates a lifelike situation for individuals to practice decision-making and procedural activities in a safe environment for the patients and professionals where it involves simulated human patients, emergency response and simulated animation. Evidence suggests that medical simulation improves the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency in health care services. Moreover, it has been shown to consistently deliver significant value to the organization, staff, or students in decision-making. Although medical simulation provided ideal approaches for addressing healthcare issues, the number of successful software implementation and development is relatively small compared with other established engineering disciplines, such as the manufacturing industry. Software quality models in particular offer the opportunity to systematically assess the level of compliance of software systems with industry standards. In addition, applying software quality models increase the customer satisfaction and decrease the quality cost.

Read the full article on Science Direct’s website!

Alldattia Provides A/V Systems to Brazilian Sim Centers



Are you looking for Simulation Design services in Brazil or South America? Alldattia assists in the specification, design and installation of audiovisual corporate environments, specializing in medical simulation suites. Since 2005, they have provided hospital and surgical environments with system additions including medical devices with audio capabilities, Video, IT and Telecommunications. Systems designed by Alldattia are already running in more than 30 installations.

Recently they shared some of the lesssons learned from installing A/V systems in medical simulation spaces (some translation errors may exist):

“But a new technology was put in the market and in 2009 we started to install Realistic Medical Simulation environments. At first, we did exactly what was on the books and we immediately understood that who wrote those books knew a lot about simulation but nothing about audio and video. We’ve installed seven simulation environments for one particular client and it worked fine, but could be better. After some training, the instructors was able to operate a 50 knobs audio mixer with very little trouble. Most of the times they was not quick enough to adjust audio levels, or to eliminate audio feedback. You can imagine the mess that fifty knobs and other dozen of buttons that look all the same can do during an emergency situation. Lots of audio feedback, lots of too much volume, too low volume, and lots of complaints.

We attended Congresses, intensively interacted with globally recognized experts on medical simulation, manufacturers of simulation systems, manufacturers of medical devices, and several other experts that could contribute with us to develop better and simpler systems for the medical learning environment. We still do it. It’s a continuously learning, researching and developing. Intuitive (one button) System – UNIT (Tiradentes University, Aracaju, Brazil) Intuitive (one button) System – UNIT (Tiradentes University, Aracaju, Brazil) Back to the design desk, we started to develop what we called “the one only button system”. It’s basically a bunch of electronics that sit on hidden places where the user can’t touch or barely see. We try to hide everything that does not need to be visible. The only things that we still can’t hide are set in the top of the desk. And it has one only button (press and release). That’s it. And we never had another complaint.

The basic idea is to let the instructor to focus on medical things and completely forget about electronic devices. He or she already have too much to concentrate when operating the medical and simulation devices and scenarios. The intuitive system that we built does not need any training. Of course that one or another customization is necessary from one client to another, but it’s expected. Some clients need special features and we like it a lot. We learn with our client needs. There is one important thing that we learned, and this might be the most important.

Besides learning from clients, we need to teach and educate them before start talking about electronics. It’s necessary to listen a lot, design solutions and, sometimes, to explain why that ‘simple’ thing that is being requested should not be implemented. It’s important to put expectations to a certain level that we can accomplish.”

Learn more at the Alldattia Website today!

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Arch Virtual Provides Realistic 3D Designing for Simulation Experiences & Sim Lab Layout


While searching the internet for all things simulation I stumbled upon Arch Virtual, who provides Realistic 3D Environments For Health Care Training.

About Arch Virtual

Health care simulations have become a significant amount of the work we’ve been doing with the Oculus Rift and the Unity3D game engine. We work directly with universities and healthcare institutions to provide real-time virtual simulations of medical environments such as hospitals, clinics, and emergency response stations for grant funded and other research-based simulations and training applications. In some cases, we are brought in to create the 3D environment only. In other cases, we develop projects from beginning to end, complete with animation, avatar development, interface and interactive components.

Amplify Training Experience With Guided Simulations As with architectural visualization, virtual medical environments and replicas of hospitals, clinics and emergency response stations present the opportunity to amplify real experiences with guided simulations that replicate substantial representations of the physical world in a virtually interactive manner.

Realistic Guided Simulations With The Oculus Rift We can create any kind of interactivity or customization required to suit the individual needs of each unique project. Equipment can be animated, custom avatars can be developed, additional rooms can be added, etc. We can also custom-brand this particular demo environment for your use, including your logo, splash-image, etc.

Learn more at Arch Virtual’s Healthcare Page!


Level 3 Healthcare Provides State-of-the-Art Medical Simulation Center A/V System Design & Installation

sim lab av integrators

Are you about to build or renovate a new simulation space? I cannot emphasize enough the importance of hiring an audiovisual design consultant who has previous experience working with medical simulation spaces. There is so much learning that takes place when trying to integrate A/V systems across a number of rooms, networks, and campuses. I cannot tell you how many consulting calls I have had with simulation champions around the world who have to completely redesign their entire A/V system after only a year of use because they did not work with an experience service provider from the get go. Just as we know that simulation education requires staff to receive special training, so too should we consider the special knowledge required to successfully put together the countless A/V systems our simulation spaces require. For the numerous reasons below, I do recommend you call on Level 3 Healthcare to explore their support when building (or rebuilding) your simulation space.

About Level 3 Healthcare

Level 3 Healthcare is a customer focused group of medical engineers trained in the process of integrating current audiovisual technology to medical work spaces, clinical training centers and simulation labs. Level 3 Healthcare provides advanced multimedia solutions in OR’s, ER’s, ED’s and medical education centers.

This healthcare engineering group has pioneered designs in large anatomy labs, dental training facilities, telehealth initiatives, live HD video distribution, 3-D surgical theaters, recording, archiving, content management and video media retrieval systems. Level 3 Healthcare’s core competency is integrating the myriad of medical, simulation, broadcast and professional technology into a seamless, easy to use system, curriculum or application.

Our approach is to work directly with our clients to understand their needs and curriculum and apply technology to improve efficiency, work flow and learning. Examples of our applications include; intraoperative surgical suites, digital O.R.’s, nursing simulation centers, procedure rooms, 3-D visualization facilities, clinical AV networks, campus-wide central recording systems and telemedicine video conferencing initiatives for collaboration and critical decision making.

simulation av design

5  Star Service

On, the community driven ratings and review platform for medical simulation products and services has a powerful testimonial from a Simulation Center Director in the United States who rated Level 3 Healthcare a “5/5 stars” saying:

“We used the services of Level 3 Healthcare to integrate a 10,000 Sq Ft. Simulation Center. I was very impressed with their initial responsiveness, and importantly their continued support since product installation. Level 3 worked with me to develop a system, as an end user i felt would work within our facility. This was achieved and they have helped create an incredible learning environment. In our case they were working with established systems which needed to work with additional technologies. The project was completed on time and it delivered expected outcomes. Very impressed and would suggest a discussion with them early in the development process. The whole team did a superb job.”

Supporting Community

Level 3 Healthcare are the back-to-back Platinum Sponsors of the annual SimGHOSTS event, which is taking place in Los Angeles this August 4th-7th. By sponsoring the event at such a high level for a second year in a row, Level 3 Healthcare continues to demonstrate their support of those operating medical simulation technology with the community and resources they need to succeed. Having spent time with the leadership of L3HC, I can attest that they are a dedicated and professional group to connect with.

Visit today to learn more!

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How to Design Medical Simulation Curriculum — From Mentice

how to develop medical simulation cirriculum
Mentice recently shared a free whitepaper called “How To Design A Curriculum for Healthcare Simulation” by Dr. Patrick Henn that is intended to take you through the process of curricular design. It will show you how to select and develop the essential components that, together, deliver the key elements of the curriculum. This approach is applicable to large and small organizations with varying budgets. This document is a really useful tool for educators beginning their journey into healthcare simulation curriculum design, or educational design in general.
Benefit of the approach found within this whitepaper:
  • It will save you time and effort
  • It can be used for the design or redesign of courses, workshops and seminars
  • It can help you meet the demands of accreditation bodies
  • It will help ensure that you ask all the important questions, and consider and explore all options, before decisions are made
  • It will help you improve your curriculum
  • Curriculum design and evaluation, when performed using this approach, is an opportunity for scholarship.

Lessons here include how to:

  • Tell the learner exactly what to expect including the methods of student support
  • Advise the teacher on the content to deliver and how to support learners in their personal and professional development
  • Enable the institution or organization to set appropriate assessments of student learning and implement relevant evaluations of the educational process
  • Inform society on how the institution or organization is delivering on its social responsibilities.

Click here to download this Free How To Guide from Mentice! 

Pulse R&D – 3D Models for Medical Education & Device Companies

medical simulation prototype

Our topic today is designed to support those medical simulation champions or new companies looking to build training products for our growing sector with the note about Pulse R&D, a group which helps to produce models for a plethora of medical markets. If you are looking to commercialize your medical simulation task-trainer concept, Pulse is certainly worth considering to help with creative engineering & design for prototype manufacturing!

medical simulation prototype manufacturer

About Pulse R&D:

Surgeons are by nature hands-on people. How are you demonstrating your medical device? Pulse intentionally designs & engineers each model to tell the story of your medical device. Your model will be easy & intuitive to use, have smartly crafted consumables, clearly show the merits of your device, and be congruent with your brand. Custom designed 3D Medical Training Models, Physical Sales Aids, Medical Device Marketing Models, Anatomical Demonstration Models & Medical Device Replicas can be realistically complex or simple, pared down to the absolute essence of what you need to show. Give us an assignment! Tell us: the medical device, procedure, key strategic messages, and competitive differentiators. We will produce dynamic 3D model concepts for you to consider.

task trainer development

Check out this insufflatable laparoscopic trainer pump and integrated camera and scope. Used for realistic training for surgeons on emerging procedures. The models are sent to locations all over the world to train without the use of expensive and inconvenient animal or cadaver labs.

Bring your idea to life today by visiting, just make sure to share it with us on HealthySim first!

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Level 3 Healthcare Shares Impressive Portfolio of Simulation Center A/V Integration Projects

sim lab av integrators

Level 3 Healthcare, who were the platinum sponsors of the 2014 SimGHOSTS USA event, have updated their new website with some amazing shots of their impressive A/V integration portfolio. Having worked with them closely this year for SimGHOSTS and after touring their impressive integration work at the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Guild Simulation Center, I would highly recommend you add them to your contact list for all major sim lab A/V integration plans!

Industrial Plant Operators Now Train for Safety with Virtual Simulators

plant operation simulator

The International Society of Automation (ISA) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. ISA develops standards, certifies industry professionals, provides education and training, publishes books and technical articles, and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. Recently their writer Peter Richmond shared how “Operator training simulators raise operator competency, improving plant performance and reliability“.

This article is a great read because it demonstrates that the same process we use in medical simulation for learning outcome identification and, design, implementation and evaluation is also utilized in their industry. Furthermore, the advancement of 3d technology enables them to train operators like never before.

Using 3-D Virtual Simulators:

Process Automation: Operator training simulators in the modern plant 4

Once reserved for cutting-edge engineering and creative industries, 3-D visualization is being used in new and innovative ways across a number of industrial sectors, helping to safely and effectively train plant operators and staff.

The emergence of 3-D visualization as a method of training has grown out of the need of many industrial companies and organizations to instruct their employees in a safe and secure environment. In addition, the nature of continuous process plants necessitates minimal downtime, and there are often few opportunities for initial training of new staff and for ongoing training for experienced staff, particularly in scenarios that may only occur rarely.

Five-phase, performance-based training approach

Plant operators can benefit from incorporating 3-D visualization into their training systems in many ways. Chief among these is the ability to have high-fidelity operations, maintenance, and safety training in a cost-effective, low-risk setting. Putting people in the field in dangerous and often remote locations, such as offshore energy platforms, strictly for training purposes, is not only costly, but also risky to platform operators, their co-workers, the facility itself, and the environment. Because of advances in simulation, visualization, and interactive gaming technology, it is now possible for offshore operators to learn much of their craft in a safe, realistic training environment.

Virtual reality simulation is particularly well-suited for industrial training, where remote, unsafe, and pressure-filled sites are increasingly common. This type of technology enables platform operators to receive a large portion of their training in a virtual environment, reducing cost and risk. For example, risk of injury can be eliminated because operators are not immediately placed in an unfamiliar environment. After going through such training programs, operators are less likely to make mistakes such as spills or shutdowns, which could have serious consequences. They are also less likely to encounter emergencies they have never before experienced. In situations where units are shut down only once every year or less often, virtual reality training is an invaluable practice tool for staff at all levels.

Many believe this approach fits especially well with the new generation of engineers and plant operators who are already familiar with this technology and who are used to an entirely different learning environment than previous generations experienced. In addition to providing a more realistic training environment, 3-D virtualization training ensures a more interactive and hands-on experience.

It is a very exciting time for many industrial companies and organizations as they help drive virtual reality solutions and create innovative and practical applications directly relevant to their staff’s needs. As the conditions and demands on the industry evolve, plants of all kinds are increasingly using virtual environments to help plant operators and staff rapidly adapt and hone their skills.

Read the Full Plant Operator Simulator Article here.

Simulation in Healthcare Education: A Best Evidence Practical Guide

medical simulation management

Dr. Barry Issenberg, Director of the Gordon Medical Simulation Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and co-author of AMEE Guide #82 “Simulation in Healthcare Education: A Best Evidence Practical Guide PART-2″ reminds us here of the importance of considering the practical implementation of medical simulation. While Part-1 focused on simulation program development and operations, part-2 focuses on clinical educators and getting ROI on learning outcomes. Think of these articles as a great “How To Get Started” guide to medical simulation!

Simulation in Healthcare Education: A Best Evidence Practical Guide Part -2 Abstract:

Over the past two decades, there has been an exponential and enthusiastic adoption of simulation in healthcare education internationally. Medicine has learned much from professions that have established programs in simulation for training, such as aviation, the military and space exploration. Increased demands on training hours, limited patient encounters, and a focus on patient safety have led to a new paradigm of education in healthcare that increasingly involves technology and innovative ways to provide a standardized curriculum. A robust body of literature is growing, seeking to answer the question of how best to use simulation in healthcare education. Building on the groundwork of the Best Evidence in Medical Education (BEME) Guide on the features of simulators that lead to effective learning, this current Guide provides practical guidance to aid educators in effectively using simulation for training. It is a selective review to describe best practices and illustrative case studies.

This Guide is the second part of a two-part AMEE Guide on simulation in healthcare education. The first Guide focuses on building a simulation program, and discusses more operational topics such as types of simulators, simulation center structure and set-up, fidelity management, and scenario engineering, as well as faculty preparation. This Guide will focus on the educational principles that lead to effective learning, and include topics such as feedback and debriefing, deliberate practice, and curriculum integration – all central to simulation efficacy. The important subjects of mastery learning, range of difficulty, capturing clinical variation, and individualized learning are also examined. Finally, we discuss approaches to team training and suggest future directions. Each section follows a framework of background and definition, its importance to effective use of simulation, practical points with examples, and challenges generally encountered. Simulation-based healthcare education has great potential for use throughout the healthcare education continuum, from undergraduate to continuing education. It can also be used to train a variety of healthcare providers in different disciplines from novices to experts. This Guide aims to equip healthcare educators with the tools to use this learning modality to its full capability.

To download part-2 of the FREE article visit here. Part-1 is located here.