Rush University Launches New Simulation Center

The new Rush Clinical Skills and Simulation Center uses sophisticated manikins and other technology to simulate real-world patient care for students and health care workers at Rush University Medical Center.

rush university sim lab

The Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation celebrated its Grand Opening on Monday, September 8, 2014. The celebration marked the completion of Phase I of construction for the center, which has over four times the capacity of the former simulation laboratory.

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The 7,5000 square foot center is located on the ground floor of the Jelke Building at Rush University Medical Center and utilizes advanced technology to help create patient scenarios that vary from influenza to Ebola. The events mimic what a health care worker would experience in real life.

The new facilities will feature training environments for emergency/Intensive Care Unit (ICU) medicine, anesthesiology, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics. Each procedure room will include a control room, from which expert simulation staff can execute a variety of targeted treatment scenarios. New software and an integrated video recording system will allow peers and students to review simulations in debriefing sessions. During training scenarios, participants provide care utilizing an array of human patient simulators.

In Phase II, the center’s capacity will increase to over 15,000 square feet within the next year during this final phase of construction. Additional space will include ten examination rooms for our standardized patient unit, cadaver laboratory, and modern task simulations such as laparoscopy, bronchoscopy, and robotic simulators.

Learn more at the Rush University Website

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Silence Kills: Can Technology Drive Meaningful Cultural Change In Healthcare?

technology in healthcare communication

CEO of X Tech Ventures Robert Szczerba has posted another great article connecting the future of healthcare and technology. In this LinkedIn post he reminds us that an AACN report entitled ‘Silence Kills’ reported that out of 1700 healthcare professionals “84 percent of doctors observed colleagues who took dangerous shortcuts when caring for patients and 88 percent worked with people who showed poor clinical judgment. Despite the risks to patients, less than 10 percent of physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff directly confronted their colleagues about their concerns.” Robert continues to explore this gap in healthcare communication:

In the years following this study, there has been a strong movement by a number of companies to develop improved communication and patient safety tools. However, the 2010 follow-up study The Silent Treatment concluded, “that while safety tools are one part of the solution to improving patient care, they do not compensate for crucial conversation failures in the hospital. Silence still kills.

A common perception in the healthcare industry is that the underlying cultural environment limits technological advances in safety and efficiency. Following this logic, no significant advances can be made until major cultural changes occur. However, what if technology was not necessarily limited by culture, but, if applied correctly, could actually be used to drive a desired cultural change?

Read the full article entitled “Silence Kills: Can Technology Drive Meaningful Cultural Change in Healthcare” on LinkedIn

USAF Utilizes Simulation to Train Past Budget Cuts

us air force


If one thing has become clear under sequestration, it is this: Budget cuts beget training cuts, which in turn hurt readiness. The US Air Force in particular has been impacted, with large swaths of its fleet grounded last year and unable to fly crucial training missions. Under that budget reality, the service — and the rest of the Pentagon — is focusing on simulation as a low-cost training alternative, a move made possible by improved technology.

That mix is a “perfect storm” of new technologies, financial need and new capabilities coming online throughout the Pentagon, according to Air Force Col. Franz Plescha, commander of the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation.

“There is a huge upswing,” he said. “We’ve kind of turned the corner. People have had this vision for years, and now it’s all coming together that this is definitely the future.”

Sequestration was “a straw on the camel’s back,” but Plescha said it is unfair to argue that budget cuts forced a move to more simulation. Doing so argues that “we can’t afford to do it a better way, therefore we’re going to do this. And that’s the wrong perception to have. It may have been one of the reasons that got us to turn the corner, but by no means is it the only reason.”

Baptiste said he sees the simulation business expanding in the coming years.

“The current budget environment is going to cause all of the services to relook at the balance of live and simulated training,” he said.” The amount you dedicate to each is going to start to move closer together.” But is there a saturation point for the training market? “I would say the only limitations we have is our own imagination,” Baptiste said. “There will never be zero requirement for training.”

The different services are all committed to simulation, but Baptiste highlighted distributed mission operations — networked simulators — as one area in which the Air Force is advanced.

Linking simulators for joint training operations has been going on for over a decade, according to Plescha. What has changed, he said, is the ability to integrate simulation and live training. Simulation works best when realism is necessary, according to Cummings, who points to situations such as mechanical work or driving a large ship as appropriate. It’s also useful for training people on collaborative decision-making processes, such as squad training, that require audio or gestural queues during the training.

“The thing that you need to think about when thinking of simulation is, ‘what kind of perceptual feedback are you getting when using a simulator?’ ” he said. “Sometimes it’s very important to have very realistic feedback when you’re making decisions.”

The military, of course, isn’t just platforms. New uses for simulation and mobile training are infiltrating everything from training security patrols and joint terminal attack controllers to finding new ways of helping post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers. In some cases, the military can borrow heavily from the civilian side, including in the medical realm, where doctoral students are learning how to identify diseases and dissect patients without needing a cadaver. It also creates new market potential for companies interested in this kind of training.

“Much of the Air Force focus you’ll find in medical,” Golson said. “Medical will explode, absolutely explode. There is a big push right now for all things medical simulation.”

“Still,” Plescha said, “too often when we speak about [simula­tion], people revert to simulators. Virtuals can be not just simulators. It can be the medical dummy that’s on a table. And I’d rather have a doctor practice on a dummy than me.”

Read the full article on!

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eoSurgical: Take Home Surgical Simulator

Roland Partride, Co-Founder of eoSurgical, wrote in to share an amazing take-home surgical simulator that all fits inside a travel-sized case! To me this represents the continued transformation technology brings to healthcare education, which allows for more hands-on training whenever, wherever.


Roland writes “eoSurgical has established a trainee-led initiative to produce affordable take-home surgical simulators. The eoSim laparoscopic simulator and it’s training modules have been validated, and we have developed instrument tracking software which gives objective performance feedback. Prices start from just £349 GBP, making it truly accessible to surgeons globally.”

The camera unit can be displayed via laptop, or even an iPad or iPhone! Watch this great tutorial which demonstrates the setup of one of their many systems:

In another short video we watch one of the many task-training procedures of the take-home surgical platform:

As we can easily see from the quickly evolving technology of mobile phones, the future of human-technology engagements will continue to transform at increasing rates. Manikins which use to need an entire computer-rack to operate now only need an iPad. What other procedures in medical education will soon be affordable to practice at home?


You can learn more about these take-home surgical simulators at:

CAE Healthcare METI at IMSH 2012

METI, now a brand name of CAE Healthcare, was at IMSH 2012 this year demonstrating the company’s continued commitment to being a leader in healthcare education.  At IMSH, I spoke with Regional Sales Director Brian Donohue about what this merger means for the medical simulation community as well as what we can expect from CAE Healthcare in 2012.

Also, be sure to check out my preview demonstration of the CAE Viamedix Ultrasound Simulator.  What really excites me about this merger is the amazing potential CAE now has to bring lessons learned from over half-a-century of simulation in aviation and other massive industries to the medical simulation community.

Now that METI is under the umbrella of CAE Healthcare and will have access to all this additional experiences I have a strong feeling we will be seeing a lot more trend-setting announcements from the company in the years to come.

Check out this amazing CAE 3000 helicopter simulator to see what I am talking about!

 Visit CAE Healthcare and METI to learn more.

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Clinical Playground is fun!

In the Monsters Inc. clip above, a new monster has to go through simulated training experiences to make sure they can properly scare children. The instructor could use some debriefing notes from Eric Bauman PhD and the Clinical Playground.

Clinical Playground, LLC is a nexus of academic and industry collaboration focusing on the use of simulation and game-based learning for health sciences, public safety, and science education. The founding and managing member of Clinical Playground, LLC, Dr. Eric B. Bauman along with a number of associates throughout industry and higher education believe that leveraging technology, specifically game-based technology and virtual environments represents an important paradigm shift in the educational process.  Medical, Nursing and allied health education, as well as public safety education including, fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and organizational managers are well suited to take advantage of game-based and virtual environment training opportunities.

Follow Eric and the Clinical Playground on Twitter as he shares a lot of great info through the medium!