Healthcare IT News Covers Growing Use of Healthcare Simulation Technology

simulation technology in healthcare it

Stephen Burrows, Chair & Program Director of Healthcare Information Systems at Sacred Heart University’s College of Health Professions, once reflected on the growing use of healthcare simulation technology in Healthcare on How does your healthcare IT department interact with your simulation program?

With an explosion of technology in simulation, the opportunity to teach healthcare students has almost limitless boundaries.  At the heart of simulation in healthcare is the human patient simulator (HPS). In 1969, Abrahamson, Denson, and Wolf wrote about the ‘Effectiveness of a simulator in training anesthesiology residents’ and the use of patient simulators (Journal of Medical Education) to train physician residents. They felt that simulation held much promise and, from their findings, it would provide “a significant time saving in training” and that “anesthesiology residents might be expected to achieve this level of professional competence in a saving of 22 days over a period of 77 days.”

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Today’s patient simulators are significantly more advanced. Most of them can blink, breathe, cry, sweat, and have a heartbeat and pulse. When hooked up to monitors, they can even display vital signs. With some customization by the faculty the ‘patient’ can exhibit any number of cardiac arrhythmias. The technology can even mimic virtually every major bodily function. Using different scenarios, students can experience a range of events from physical examination to major trauma. The simulator even recognizes injected medications via RFID and responds with appropriate vital signs. This is a particularly helpful (and safe) way to demonstrate a reaction to the wrong medication being given by the student.

Read the Full Article here!

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Healthcare IT: Patient Safety, Engagement Relies on Crafting a Culture of Change

patient safety improvements through IT

What role does IT play in the improvement of patient safety? This article from Health IT Analytics helps to spread some light on the culture of change that will be needed to improve healthcare engagement outcomes:

Health IT Analytics Article Excerpt:

“Improving patient safety is primarily a matter of responsibility, says Dr. James Merlino, President and Chief Medical Officer of the Strategic Consulting Division of Press Ganey.  Healthcare organizations must take on the challenge of creating a “culture of care” that encompasses every member of the care team – including patients.

By broadcasting bold patient safety goals, engaging providers, and enacting patient-centric strategies for process improvement, healthcare organizations have the opportunity to make meaningful progress in the fight to reduce preventable patient harm.

“Organizations really need to adapt a strategic objective of patient centricity,” Merlino toldHealthITAnalytics.  “They have to get across to everyone that works in healthcare that they exist for the patient, and that their purpose is to deliver on the promises that they implicitly make with their patients: providing a safe, high-quality, human environment where the patient feels cared for.”

To do this, organizational leaders have to be sure that their staff members are not only educated about patient safety risks, but fully committed to eliminating preventable harm all together. “You must set the goal at zero,” Merlino stated. “Patient safety must be an uncompromisable core value of your organization.” “What I find in some of the organizations that we work with is that they have differing degrees of alignment around the topic.  Obviously, nobody comes to work in healthcare because they think about wanting to harm a patient.”

“But accidents do happen, because we’re human.  We just need to think about how to integrate the best possible processes into the care system, and it has to start with a commitment from leadership to model these practices and create a culture that is deeply patient-centric.”

Read the full article on the Health IT Analytics website!

Does Technology Discrimination Affect Healthcare?

Ken Congdon, Editor in Chief of Healthcare Technology Online recently wrote an article called “Is Healthcare Entering an Era of Technology Discrimination?”. Ken shares how his use of technology to schedule a recent visit to the doctor demonstrated a potential discrimination gap for those without similar means.

Ken further explains “clearly, we are entering a technological era in healthcare, and culturally, we will all need to adjust. However, this transition may prove more difficult for specific groups of people (e.g. the poor, the elderly, etc.) than it is for others. Since technology is positioned to play such a large role in care delivery going forward, are we as a society obliged to ensure these technology-based healthcare services are more accessible to the masses (e.g. via free/inexpensive Internet cafes, etc.)? Or, do individuals with limited access to technology need to change their behavior to ensure they access these services? For example, even if an individual doesn’t have a home computer or smartphone, they can still log onto the Internet at their local library or FedEx Office to access patient portals and receive the same benefits. In any case, expect the technological revolution in healthcare to be met with opposition by specific segments of your patient population. The way providers manage this change with patients will be instrumental in their success.”

Similarly, how will the learning opportunities of healthcare universities and colleges who cannot afford high-fidelity simulators be affected in the years to come?  Will the costs of simulation training provide for increasing gaps in healthcare performance outcomes and what will the government do to minimize it? Click on the headline above to share your thoughts!

Read Ken’s other Healthcare IT articles including “The Truth Behind Free EHRs” and “Can Video Games Play a Serious Role in Medicine

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