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:


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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!

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Military Medical Simulation Program Highlighted on Local News

military medical simulation


JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Nothing compares to the real thing, but Army medic Jason Russell said a battlefield simulation at Joint Base Lewis-McChord comes close. “The animatronics, the bleeding, the smells,” said the staff sergeant, “Everything plays into that key that you don’t get stuck. You don’t freeze where you’re at.”

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Part of the training at Madigan Army Medical Center’s Andersen Simulation Center involves sessions in a dark, smoky room filled with mannequin amputees covered in fake blood. “You can’t really train for this in a classroom,” said Russell.

Capt. Shannon Renfrow, a chief resident at Madigan, will have to go through the battlefield simulation room before she’s deployed overseas. As a doctor at Madigan she regularly participates in other medical simulations. Madigan was selected as a test site for a new birthing simulator. A rubber human belly and fetus replica allows doctors and nurses to practice C-section surgeries. The mannequin is called “C-Celia.” Like a flight simulator, it creates different complications for staff to handle.

Read the full Military Medical Simulation article on NBC’s King 5 News Website!

SimAssess Medical Simulation Performance Evaluation Tool From KbPort

sim assess

I just learned of KBPort’s SimAssess which was created to bridge the gap between clinical simulation and visual debriefing. SimAssess provides educators with the means to assess each simulation experience quantitatively. The data-driven debriefing capability of SimAsses helps educators identify strengths and weaknesses individually, across an entire class, and across multiple classes.  This rubric-based assessment toolkit also increases efficiency, reducing the time it takes to evaluate by allowing educators to refer to a substantive description eliminating the need for writing long, descriptive comments. SimAssess eliminates uncertainty in grading and offers evaluative consistency across time, class groups and multiple graders. Learners benefit from exposure to performance expectations and standards, receipt of consistent feedback to improve performance and self-directed recognition of performance strengths and weaknesses.

The cloud-based, easy-to-use, flexible, rubric-based format of SimAssess offers educators and training personnel, the most efficient, powerful technology, that can be customized to fit any teaching style and fully leveraged to maximize learner potential.

Key Features:

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  • Assessment – Effective assessment with RUBRIC scoring guide for timely and meaningful feedback. Automated scoring and comprehensive data analytics on learner’s key performance factors.
  • Easy Access – Assess on the fly with fast & easy R-CODE access for respondents. Eliminates scheduling to let educator / administrator focus on the complex task of running simulation.
  • In The Cloud –  Always accessible in the CLOUD and on any web-enabled device. Quick setup and easy to use. Includes latest firewall and encryption for privacy and data protection.

KbPort is a software and hardware development company. Their main focus has been in the medical training community where our founder has been designing recording, debriefing, and simulator solutions since 1994. They have a team of cutting edge engineers who have developed the next generation of simulation teaching tools. Along with their experienced sales team, they have cultivated teaching tools that are simple, realistic and most of all, functional.

Learn more at the SimAssess website today!

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Level 3 Healthcare SimGHOSTS USA 2015 Keynote Address By Dr. Alistair Phillips Posted!

level 3 healthcare

At SimGHOSTS 2015 USA at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles this August, Level 3 Healthcare sponsored the opening keynote address by Dr. Alistair Phillips, MD, FACC, FACS Co-Director, Congenital Heart Program Chief, Division of Congenital Heart Surgery and Co-Director of Cedars-Sinai’s Congenital Heart Program and the Chief of the Division of Congenital Heart Surgery within the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. He is board-certified in surgery, thoracic surgery and congenital heart surgery. Dr. Phillips is interested in developing quality improvement programs with a family-centric approach. He spoke on the benefits of simulation, and the futuristic technologies Cedars-Sinai is using NOW to branch out into various departments within the medical center to support innovation and performance improvement.

About Level 3 Healthcare: 

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Level 3 Healthcare provides advanced multimedia solutions in surgical environments, OR’s, ER’s, ED’s and simulation centers. This healthcare engineering group has pioneered designs in large simulation centers, digital operating rooms, telehealth, 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 healthcare, 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 use and curriculum and then 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 video conferencing initiatives for collaboration and critical decision making.

Learn more about Level 3 Healthcare, SimGHOSTS, and Cedars-Sinai!

University of Arizona Medical Simulation Lab Allows Firefighters to Train for Mass Violence

fire fighter training simulated

Last week KTAR news out of Arizona reported on Fire Fighter training taking place at the Center for Simulation and Innovation at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The scenario? Mass casualty shooter incidents. As horrendous as these events are to consider, simulation provides all civil service professionals with a way to train for the unthinkable. Does your simulation program have scenarios designed to teach the challenges of multiple victim gunshot wounds?

KTAR Article Except:

“Phillips was part of a group of firefighters receiving paramedic training recently through the lab, practicing on mannequins that simulate gunshot and knife wounds, collapsed lungs and more.

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In light of recent violent events nationally, the Phoenix Fire Department wants each of its 1,600 firefighters to go through a mass violence simulation, said Austin Moreland, a firefighter/paramedic who helped lead the session. “It’s definitely a sign of the times that it’s becoming to where everyone needs to be prepared to be able to manage and be able to mitigate an incident like this at any time,” he said.

They’ll do that using simulation mannequins created to offer a realistic experience with medical emergencies. “Our management came up with the decision that we want to implement the tactical emergency casualty care guidelines that are now national guidelines that talk about how to deal with mass casualty incidents and shooter incidents,” said Joel Stevenson a firefighter/paramedic who also led the simulation training.”

Read the full KTAR news article here and let us know about your similar training!

Ontario Based SIM-one Provides Upcoming Course in ‘Simulation Research: Best Practices for Planning a Research Study’


This has been a week for upcoming simulation courses and workshop announcements. It makes us happy to think that five years ago there was only a handful of courses every year around the world to train clinical educators in the process of medical simulation, now there is a course a week! This latest training program is an ONLINE course that you can take from anywhere on getting into Simulation Research.

Simulation Research: Best Practices for Planning a Research Study is facilitated and led by leading simulation and health care education researchers across Ontario. Facilitators will coach course participants through the process of building a research study based on their research question or interest. They will provide guidance on practical issues such as method planning, grant applications, knowledge mobilization planning, and team building.

Wed, September 30 to Wed, November 18
Hosted Online
Course Fee: $495 CAN

This eight-week course includes video-recorded lectures, interactive live webinars with expert researchers, and review & questions periods. It complements the Simulation Research: Primer introductory course.

Who will benefit?

Have a defined research question or hypothesis, but not sure how to begin planning your study? Or, completed theSimulation Research: Primer course and looking for more information? Then this course is for you.

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What will I learn?

  • Tips & tools for building research questions into concrete research study plans
  • Guidance on developing a research study, including creating a study design (qualitative & quantitative methods planning)
  • Choosing and validating the right measurement tools
  • Knowledge mobilization planning
  • Guidance on applying for simulation research grant proposal(s)
  • How to build a strong research team

Learning outcomes & benefits

Participants will become familiar with the core concepts for planning a research study, including:

  • Steps to investigate a simulation research question
  • Creating and critiquing a research study method/protocol
  • Documenting a research study protocol and knowledge mobilization plan
  • Identifying human and physical resources necessary to complete a research study
  • Drafting a grant application

Learn more about this and other SIM-one courses at their website today!

Professor Debra Nestel Shares The Benefits of Simulation to Medical Journal of Australia

debra nestel

Recently The Medical Journal of Australia interviewed Professor Debra Nestel BA PhD FAcadMEd CHSE-A, who is professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare at Monash University in Melbourne. In the audio interview below Dr. Nestel discusses the role of simulated patients and other modalities, particularly in relation to rural training. With MJA engagement editor, Cate Swannell.

To accompany a Careers feature on simulation training in medical schools she speaks with MJA engagement editor Cate Swannell in the video below:

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Learn more about The Medical Journal of Australia and Dr. Debra Nestel!

Interview with University of Saskatchewan Sim Tech Malcolm White

simulation technician

The University of Saskatchewan media team say down with Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialist Malcolm White this week to learn more about his responsibilities as a Sim Tech. Have you encouraged your institutions journalism, media, and PR department to swing by your sim lab lately? You never know when free press may queue in an anonymous donor!

UoS Article Excerpt:

“Malcolm Whyte wears many, many hats.

As a simulation technology specialist, he recreates medical and clinical scenarios for health science students in the interprofessional Clinical Learning Resource Centre (CLRC). This requires a delicate, tactful mix of skills and knowledge, ranging from information technology and audio/ video to health care, education and theatrics.

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“My day can go from putting makeup of a burn on a mannequin to setting up the medical scenario and getting supplies ready to scripting out what we’re going to say and programming a mannequin,” he said.

In total, he manages about 30 mannequins, which are used at distributed learning sites across the province. But these mannequins are no dummies. The most realistic, or high-fidelity, mannequins can be programmed to speak, bleed, sweat, blink, seize and respond physiologically to medical intervention. “They’re basically advanced computers with arms and legs,” he said. “They have different parts in them that mimic us.” “

Read the Full Article on Sim Tech Malcolm White here!

Supported Organization:

Inaugural Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare Meeting October 23rd-25th

healthcare simulation asia

Are you in the asia-pacific region and looking to connect and learn from your simulation peers? Then join me this October 23rd-25th at the Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare (PASSH) inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Letter From the Organizers:

On behalf of the Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare (PASSH), it is a great pleasure and honor to invite you, to the PASSH’s Inaugural Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 23 to 25, 2015.

This inaugural conference, jointly organised with the Taylor’s University, will be held under the theme “Healthcare Simulation in Asia: Today, Future & Beyond” will bring together motivated simulation leaders and learners from the Asia region. This will be the perfect opportunity to network and learn from each other, and to seek ways to integrate and apply simulation to educational curriculum more fit to the Asian culture and environment. We have invited a renowned simulation leader who have dedicated countless hours and days in helping advance healthcare simulation in Asia, Dr. Paul Phrampus from University of Pittsburgh.

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All of the members and staff of the organizing committee, including the co-chairs are making every effort to ensure the success of the upcoming event and to make it a more meaningful and enjoyable moment of harmony. Please honor us with your presence to celebrate this historical event, and we hope that you will take back wonderful memories of Kuala Lumpur, a city of ancient heritage and modern technology. We welcome your interest and participation and look forward to meeting you in Kuala Lumpur in October 2015.

The Keynote presentation will be provided by Dr. Paul Phrampus, Wiser Simulation Center Director & SSH Past President.

Learn more and register today at the PASSH website today!

Jenny Rudolph from Harvard’s Center for Medical Simulation Reminds Us “Excellent Debriefing is Invisible”

medical simulation documentary

On the Center for Medical Simulation’s website there was recently a short post from Jenny Rudolph PhD, Senior Director of the Institute for Medical Simulation, reminding us that “excellent debriefing is invisible”. Jenny connects subtle interviewing techniques to simulation debriefing to show us how the participant should remain the center of the conversation.  As a documentary film-maker, I have spent countless hours learning the delicate craft of interviewing. Check out my articles on the Lessons from Documentary Film-Making for Simulation Champs, and Creating Realism in Simulation to learn more about this fascinating topic!


From Jenny:

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“When I watch or listen to interviews I’ve noticed something.  In excellent interviews like in excellent debriefings, the questions and questioner seem to fade into the background and the story and ideas of the learner or interviewee stand out.  Like a well-designed setting for a precious gem, or good lighting in the theater, good debriefing and interviewing is not that noticeable. This is ironic because it takes some effort and practice to master the interview and debriefing techniques to be invisible. 

A lovely 2.5 minute example of this is Joshua Gubitz’s interview of his 85 year-old friend Len Berk. When Berk retired as a CPA he got himself hired as a salmon slicer at a gourmet deli in NYC.  Although this clip no doubt benefitted from skillful audio editing, you will notice that Josh Gubitz just taps the topic along, with little follow-up questions, or a chuckle of encouragement.  He doesn’t get in the way of Berk telling his story.  Gubitz’s underlying feeling of interest and positive regard for Berk and Berk’s inherent love of salmon slicing do the rest.”

Listen to the 2.5 minute interview and learn more about CMS Training Programs here!