Dr. Paul Phrampus Shares Video: Beyond Healthcare Simulation Debriefing

paul phrampus simulation

UPMC WISER Simulation Center Director and Past President of SSH Dr. Paul Phrampus recently shared this helpful lecture regarding his perspective about the evolving landscape of healthcare simulation debriefing:

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Medical, Nursing and Healthcare has become an important teaching and assessment tool to assist in the education of healthcare providers. Simulation can help someone become a better physician, nurse, paramedic, pharmacist through simulation programs in medicine, nursing and EMS. His new Youtube channel will feature videos to assist with faculty development, trian the trainer and other aspects of simulation program development for initial program design as well as program enhancement.

Visit the Simulating Healthcare Youtube Channel for more helpful videos!

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Inaugural Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare Video Interview

passh asian healthcare simulation society

Late last year HealthySimulation.com attended the inaugural Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia hosted by Taylor’s University. The three day event brought together simulation champions from across Asia and the United States for courses in debriefing, international collaboration, technology integration, and more. During that time we had a chance to video interview PASSH President Sabrina Koh RN, MHSc(Edu), PGDip(CC), CHSE, Assistant Director of Nursing of Sengkang Health in Singapore – who helped to launch the organization and the event. Also on hand was Dr. Paul Phrampus, Director of the WISER Center, Past SSH President, and Keynote speaker of the inaugural event.

Read my full PASSH conference recaps below for more information and then watch the video below to learn more!

To learn more, visit the PASSH Website today!

Dr. Paul Phrampus Opens Inaugural Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare Meeting in Malaysia

passh asia simulation in healthcare

Today just north of Kuala Lumpur at Taylor’s University, the inaugural Pan Asia Simulation Society in Healthcare (PASSH) meeting opened with keynote speaker Dr. Paul Phrampus, past president for the Society in Simulation in Healthcare and Director of the WISER Simulation Center.

Paul provided the audience a break down of the ways simulation can be utilized in healthcare programs for both educational and hospital settings. His direct experience with developing simulation programs around the world lead to insightful realities for simulation professionals who have traveled from across Asia to participate in the 1st conference. Paul explained to the audience of the challenges simulation champions:

  • Creating value-based solutions
  • People (ie Bosses) underestimate the effort for any quality education effort.
  • Time and money will always be a great pain point

Dr. Phrampus reminded us that by enabling passionate people and focusing their energies in new simulation programs which solve the greatest pain points for their larger institution

Paul reminded us as he closed his talk that “We need to remain Education focused in our approaches, not simulation focused, to create value in order to solve peoples problems with systemic solutions”.

passh asian healthcare simulation society

Following this, Dr. Ben Berg, Professor of Medicine and Director of Simulation at the John Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii spoke on International Collaboration. Ben suggested that collaboration between countries starts with regional organizations like PASSH, and other international organizations like the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

Dr. Berg reminded the audience that research such as a recent study on cultural differences in healthcare simulation debriefing across the world continue to further demonstrate collaboration between international entities. He then shared the collaborative efforts between Sim Tiki in Hawaii and the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, which began through center tours and expanded into ongoing training course relationships. “Critical to consider,” Ben suggested, “is that just translating simulation curriculum and program guides won’t provide a successful migration of course content.

Because of this powerful collaborative relationship, “FunSimJ” (Fundamental Simulation Instructional Methods for Japanese), has become one of the leading simulation programs in all of Japan. Post Course Simulation survey simulation implementation barriers were similar to those in the states “number of trained simulation faculty, time for faculty development, time for teaching, etc”. Faculty development programs for Japanese educators at Sim Tiki have also been created which helps bring revenue to the Hawaiian based center.

The event continues for the next two days and includes a vendor hall Platinum Sponsored by Laerdal and Silver Sponsored by CAE Healthcare.

Learn more at the PASSH website!

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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.

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!

Insightful Blog from One of Medical Simulation’s Best: Dr. Paul Phrampus


This past week I ran into Dr. Paul Phrampus while attending the UK-based ASPiH annual event in Nottingham. Previously HealthySim has video interviewed Dr. Phrampus during a visit to the WISER center in Pittsburgh, where we spoke about the iSim course, WISER’s connection to the history of medical simulation & Laerdal, and UPMC’s innovative stance on patient safety. In his blog “Simulating Healthcare“, Paul covers the many topics so crucial for our simulation success — usually focusing on the clinical educator / learning elements.

In his most recent post on how “Assessment is the True Value of Simulation”, Paul explains to us:

“Some people profoundly advocate simulation should be used for assessment because it is not appropriate tool, and others feel that it violates the safe learning environment. I think as we shift to a patient centric approach to simulation we should be able to create a reduction in this reluctance that allows assessment forward. In fact, I always find it interesting to point out to people during debriefing training programs, particularly those that are vocal against concepts of assessment, and let them realize that when they watch a simulation and then conduct and/or facilitated briefing they have actually already performed assessment in their minds. The very items that they have formed an opinion on, or “assessed” will play a part in the educational strategy that should ultimately reinforce what participants did well and encourage change in the areas where deficiencies were noted that will lead to an effective debriefing and the accomplishment of learning objectives.

Allowing participants to demonstrate competence could be one of the most important parts of the value equation for simulation. Manager and leaders of healthcare providing institutions are grappling with ways to improve quality and significantly improve patient safety all over the world. A patient centric approach to simulation would certainly suggest that as well.

This inevitably will help us in making stronger arguments for the case for simulation. At the moment many people try to sell the idea of simulation to their leadership. This creates thoughts and visions of expensive investments in technology and the daily pains of leaders. If we shift the point of focus point our sales pitch pivots to the selling of the concept of excellence, improved patient care, and safer patient care it will far better align with the pain points of those running healthcare systems. That becomes harder to deny!”

Some of Paul’s Most Recent Posts Include:

About Dr. Phrampus:

Dr. Paul E. Phrampus is the Director of the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER). He is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology of the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. He is Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He earned a bachelor degree in biology from Old Dominion University, and an M.D. degree from Eastern Virginia medical school in Norfolk, Virginia. He completed residency training and board certification in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Phrampus has been active in patient safety efforts throughout UPMC. He is a member of the Quality Patient Care Committee of the UPMC Board of Directors. He is a Medical Director for the Center for Quality and Innovation. He has overseen the expansion of WISER capabilities in developing a distributive model of management for WISER as well as the satellites centers that have been deployed throughout the UPMC Health System. He led a team to create a simulation based difficult airway management program for emergency medicine that has now been completed by hundreds of physicians.

Dr. Phrampus serves in a leadership role in national simulation efforts through program committee leadership for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and serves on the editorial board of the journal Simulation in Healthcare. He has previously chaired the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare, which is the largest multidisciplinary simulation meeting in the world. He is the 2013 President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare which has over 3,500 members.


 Read Paul’s helpful “SimulatingHealthcare.net” blog here!

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Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare 2014 Nottingham Officially Begins!


 This morning in Nottingham, UK the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare officially opened its 2014 event with the theme of “Changing Behaviours”. President Bryn Baxendale announced some of the following new organizational developments:

  • New ASPiH Journal Published: “BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning Journal” with Editor Nick Sevdalis
  • Creation of “Student ASPiH” (sASPiH) Special Interest Group to create and provide resources for student members
  • Launch of “SimHeroes”, a new simulation performance competition
  • Launch of “Skills Passport” providing learning opportunities to students through exhibitor equipment

The Opening Address was “Developing and Assessing the Performance of Professional Practice” by Dr. Paul Phrampus, Director of UPMC’s WISER and Immediate Past President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Paul spoke about his work with the patient safety and system wide training certification needs at UPMC which is a 20 hospital institution with about 6,000 physicians and 11,000 nurses, and how simulation can apply to practicing professionals.

aspih uk healthcare simulation

Paul reminded us of Dr. Peter Densen’s 2011 article on Challenges and Operations Facing Medical Education which stated that as of 2010, medical knowledge doubles every 3.5 years. This doubling continues to add increasing pressure on healthcare providers as they get further away from their initial education. He warned that simulation alone could not solve this dilemma alone, but could act as a kind of “trojan horse” to bring better performance assessment into the clinical environments as part of the solution. Paul then shared how UPMC is incorporating simulation as part of the solution for maintenance of certification (MOC) for a dynamic experience range of healthcare professionals which includes web-based information, videos, testing and more.

In conclusion Dr. Phrampus proposed a future model of personalized ongoing continuing education and efficient incorporation of simulation through efficiency combined with effectiveness, customized training to the learner, and by being connected to modern availability of data designed to help one make decisions based off their career. By pulling in system data with individual monitored data, customized learning opportunities become more efficient which simulation could be a part of.

phrampus simulation aspih

About ASPiH

ASPiH is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, we are a membership association formed in 2009 through the merger of the National Association of Medical Simulators (NAMS) and the Clinical Skills Network (CSN). The overarching goal of ASPiH is to enable wider sharing of knowledge, expertise, and educational innovation related to simulated practice across the healthcare professions.

ASPiH Aims

  • provide an effective communication network for those involved in simulated practice in the UK and beyond
  • provide quality exemplars of best practice in the application of simulated practice to education, training, assessment and research in healthcare
  • establish key benefits & evidence of impact linking simulated practice with improvements in patient safety & quality of care
  • develop and share key operational and strategic resources for members drawn from experience within the association and from links with relevant educational bodies nationally and internationally
  • encourage and support scholarly development and recognition of members through wider dissemination of innovative practice at scientific meetings and publications

Stay tuned for hourly updates by following @ASPiHUK & @HealthySim through #ASPiH2014!

Still Time To Register for Cincinnati Children’s Regional Simulation Conference September 22nd & 23rd!

pediatric simulation conference

With simulation experts like Dr. Paul Phrampus and Dr. Jennifer Arnold speaking, this is a regional simulation event you don’t want to miss! Taking place next month September 22nd and 23rd, there is still plenty of time for you to register and receive CME and CEU credits from this innovative event.

But HURRY as Cincinnati Children’s 2014 Regional Simulation Conference is rapidly approaching! Their conference will be taking place at Xavier University’s Cintas Center late September for two days (22nd/23rd) and will be targeting adult and pediatric multidisciplinary healthcare providers who are using or are interested in using simulation. The event will provide a forum for the exchange of simulation strategies and innovations to enhance education, patient safety, and quality improvement through plenary sessions, interactive workshops, research, expert panels, and podium presentations. The event hosts have told me they are thrilled to offer many varied and exciting sessions around using simulation in new and innovative ways including the infamous “SimWars” competition in which 3 teams from critical care units will be competing in a simulation competition designed for fun and best-practice learning objectives.

Their keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Arnold of TLC’s The Little Couple, as part of this conference. Dr. Arnold is a neonatologist at Texas Children’s hospital and is a well-known public figure and highly engaging and inspirational speaker. Click here to visit the event page now!

Event Course Topics Include:

“Speak English!”: Training Innovations for Best Practices in Medical Interpreting
Eloiza Domingo-Snyder, MS – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

In this session the Linguistic Services and Diversity & Inclusion department will reveal a new era of training medical interpreters using simulation to provide safe and equitable environments and world-class experiences for Cincinnati Children’s patients and families.

Mirroring the Transformation of Healthcare through Simulated Experiences in an Intraprofessional Innovation Collaboratory House
Debi Sampsel – University of Cincinnati

This presentation demonstrates how thinking outside the box can create fun and engaging simulation learning environments for the community at large, the faculty, the students and the workforce team members by creating an Intraprofessional Innovation Collaboratory House where human patient simulators reside.

From the OR table to the Playset:  How Simulation built the foundation for the MCS Program at Cincinnati Children’s

Aimee Gardner CCP; Richard Owens CCP; Angela Lorts MD;  Jamie Shoemaker RN; Gary Geis MD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

This session will provide a sampler expo of MCS [Mechanical Circulatory Support] simulations that tell the story of a patient from implant of a device through discharge.  Simulations will include:  CICU Management, Discharge Family Education, Emergency Room MCS Trauma Response and EMS Response.

Actual, in situ, and in center: video assessment of multidisciplinary team performance during simulated and actual pediatric medical emergencies.
Thomaz Bittencourt Couto, MD – Cincinnati Children’s and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein

In situ versus in center simulation-based teamwork training: a Survey of Pediatric Emergency Providers
Thomaz Bittencourt Couto, MD – Cincinnati Children’s and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein

Interdisciplinary simulation involving intraoperative neuromonitoring for trainees
Michael Sikora, MD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

Leveraging the critical decision method and simulation-based training to accelerate resident recognition of sepsis

Gary Geis, MD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

How to Effectively Use Simulations to Develop Clinical Skills
Katie Ondo – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

The participant will list, define and apply the critical elements of simulation-based education using the 12 steps for planning a simulation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Participants will work collaboratively to create highly effective simulations.

Developing Leadership and Systems Thinking Through Simulation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Carol Caldwell, PhD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

This session will focus on how Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center incorporates a leadership hospital simulation as a means to develop strategic thinking, systems thinking and business and financial acumen.

One Direction for the Newborn
Suzanne Fraiche, BSN, MSN – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

This session will present the key features involved in initiating an in situ simulation program for the newborn resuscitation and stabilization in Level I and II nurseries.

Deploying New Technologies to Enhance Simulation Experiences throughout the Academic Spectrum: Nursing Undergraduate through Post Master Courses
Debi Sampsel – University of Cincinnati

This session will present how using various types of technology can enhance undergraduate and graduate students’ interactive experiences in an Intraprofessional Innovation Collaboratory simulation setting.

An innovative approach to neurological education using a standardized patient
Nichole Kelsey, BSN – Cleveland Clinic

Participants will participate in an interactive video-based simulation where they will be asked to identify the patient problem through an audience response system, followed by a small group exercise, and reflection on application to individual practice needs.

Implementation of an End of Life Simulation into the Baccalaureate Nursing Program
Gina Fieler RN,MSN – Northern Kentucky University

This presentation will discuss the simulation format, implementation into the baccalaureate program, objectives of the simulation, and evaluations of the simulation experience by students and nursing faculty.

“Sim Wars”
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Staff

Witness the battle between three departments from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center: Trauma Services, Emergency Services/Medicine main campus, and Emergency Services/Medicine Liberty campus.

Learn more about Cincinnati Children’s Regional Simulation Conference Event!

Cincinnati Children’s to Host Regional Simulation Conference

cincinnati simulation conference

This September 22nd and 23rd Rachel Bailey and the simulation team from Cincinnati Children’s Center for Simulation and Research invite you to “Create New Directions in Simulation” at the Xavier University Cintas Center in Ohio.

Keynote speakers include Jennifer Arnold, MD Medical Director of the Pediatric Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and Paul Phrampus MD, Director of the WISER Center at UPMC, and past-president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. (Learn more about Dr. Paul Phrampus through HealthySim video interviews).

“Join us for a conference that will target adult and pediatric multi-disciplinary healthcare providers who are currently using or are interested in using simulation. The conference will provide a forum for the exchange of simulation strategies and innovations to enhance education, patient safety and quality improvement through plenary sessions, interactive workshops, research, expert panels, and podium presentations.

What:  Cincinnati Children’s 2014 Regional Simulation Conference
Topic: Creating New Directions in Simulation
Audience: Adult and pediatric multidisciplinary healthcare providers
Where: Xavier University Cintas Center Schiff Conference & Banquet Center
When: Sept. 22-23, 2014
Cost & how to register: Opening Soon!

Visit the Cincinnati Children’s Regional Conference webpage to learn more!

Interviews With WISER Director, Dr. Paul Phrampus Part 1

wiser at umpc

While attending WISER’s 6th Annual Nursing Simulation Symposium I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Paul Phrampus, WISER Director and SSH President. I had such a great conversation with Paul that I will be sharing my video interview segment by segment here over the next couple of weeks. UPMC and WISER have a great historical connection with medical simulation and you can learn all about that, and the coverage of their recent Nursing Symposium, by watching and reading my previous event coverage. For today, watch the video below to learn more about Dr. Phrampus, how he got started in simulation, Pittsburgh’s modern transformation and UPMC.

Interview Transcript

upmc wiser director

Meet Paul

Hi, Paul Phrampas here (pictured above right). I am the Director of the Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research here also known as WISER. I’m an Associate Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology and Vice Chair for Patient Safety and Quality in the Department of Emergency Medicine. (Editors Note: Paul is also the current President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare).

Lance: Tell us how you got to Pittsburgh?

Paul: So, I arrived in Pittsburgh in 1996 as a visiting medical student. I wanted to see what It would be like to be an emergency medicine resident here in Pittsburgh. In the month that I spent here I fell in love with the city and the training / university programs and the availability. I selected to come here for my residency and I was happy to actually match here and did my emergency medical training from 1997 to 2000 at the University of Pitt. And during residency I was lucky enough, actually serendipitously, to be put in touch with the simulation efforts and was able to start working in simulation in 1997, while I was completing my residency. One of my first projects was helping to create some competency courses for the city of Pittsburgh paramedics.

Lance: This is my first time in Pittsburgh and I am in awe – not only by how many bridges are here – but how beautiful this city really is!

Paul: Pittsburgh as a city is surprising, I’ve lived in for the last 15 years and I have to say 15 years ago when I arrived here I was shocked. My childhood memories of Pittsburgh, and I think how a lot of people still imagine Pittsburgh, is as the steel mill town, a blue collar town, where the factories are churning out smoke day in day out and the street lights stay on 24 hours a day because of the smog. I was expecting to have my car parked on the sidewalk and get dust from the coal mines on it in two hours time, and I was delighted to see when I came out of the tunnel for the first time into the area, a hustling bustling clean city that’s vibrant. The steel mills are gone and the industries that are creating a thriving Pittsburgh today (after a long economic revitalization) are healthcare, education, and banking. So its been a great seed for recruitment of healthcare providers, and people who are involved in technology in the city of Pittsburgh. There are also a great number of universities here. Of course, the two of which are world famous are the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Melon University. Carnegie Melon is famous for computer engineering and robotics engineering in addition to a number of their other programs. The engineering aspects of these groups combined with the University of Pittsburgh engineering programs has been a delight for many collaborative projects in innovative projects for teaching education research and simulation itself. Pittsburgh is a great place to live and a great place to train. We have world class medical training facilities and training programs that engage people all throughout the entire region.

Lance: Tell me more about UPMC and some of the reasons it was just ranked #10 Nationally by US News?

Paul: UPMC, or the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been formed over the last 20 years. It was a consolidation of a couple academic medical centers, and then the response to the changing market place. In terms of healthcare and the ability to thrive through consolidation, the opportunity was identified by our CEO many many years ago before people were even thinking about these concepts. Over the last 20 – 23 years UPMC has been able to create a fully integrated healthcare delivery network. We have our own insurance program with a couple of million lives insured and we currently have 19 hospitals and clinics, most of which are located throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. But, we also have healthcare facilities and hospitals in Ireland, in Palermo Italy, and are working in Asia with several different service lines of care delivery.

upmc ranked 10

Here in Pittsburgh the UPMC has 13 different hospitals with common services where simulation comes into play. We have a chief quality officer that over sees a lot of the quality patient safety efforts in a lot of those hospitals, so from a system level we are able to raise the bar on quality. We are able to find unique and innovative ways to implement simulation or other innovative educational programs to ensure that we are providing the highest quality care at the most economical prices in the south western Pennsylvania area. We are really quite big, and were recently ranked number 10 nationally by US News and World Report Honor Roll. A number of our programs are in the top three to five as far as training programs go, as we are a world class health institution with regard to transplant surgery. You may know that the first liver transplants were developed here and we are one of the busiest transplant centers in the country. People literally come from all over the world to not only get clinical care here but also to receive training at one of our many facilities.

To learn more about Paul and the WISER Center, visit http://www.wiser.pitt.edu !

WISER Nursing Symposium Video Coverage


The 6th Annual WISER Nursing Simulation Symposium took place earlier this month both at the Pittsburgh Hilton and at the WISER center located next door. Watch the event coverage or read the complete article below:

Before getting deeper into the event though, I wanted to share more about UPMC’s historical connection to the modern-day medical simulation industry, which I learned from WISER Director and IMSH President Dr. Paul Phrampus:

paul phrampus

“So in 1994 anesthesiologists approached the chairmen of anesthesiology in response to a number of reports in the medial literature about the safety of operating rooms and anesthesia being delivered. The chairman at the time believed whole heartedly in simulation as a patient safety mechanism he committed a large sum of the departments money to make an initial investment in simulation. I’ve understood that number to be about $250,000 which in 1994 dollars was a significant investment.

I’ve also understood that a number of other colleagues thought he was crazy to invest that level of finance in the new technology. However, the Simulation efforts then began to blossom and there was recruitment of other areas that had patient safety initiatives going on, which where there looking for improvements in areas of quality in patient safety. This lead to the broadening of the scope of the simulation program at the University of Pittsburg. There were a number of senior leaders who had the fore thought to invest in simulation while a lot of people think of simulation as normal part of healthcare… in 1994 this was pretty much unthought-of.

The academic efforts lead to safer care of the delivery of anesthetics in the operating room, and then there were a number of medical student programs and a number of nursing school programs that started to use simulation. Many people started to recognize the power of simulation, but one of the prevailing barriers at the time was that the only simulator practical and available for this area of training was significantly expensive, and that remained a barrier for quite some time.

The founding director of WISER Doctor John Schaefer was the anesthesiologist who approached the chairman at that time, and was trained in undergrad as an engineer and became an anesthesiologist. He literally in his garage set out to design a lower cost solution for many of the components that have evolved into common simulators today. Initially he developed the initial airway control and mechanisms that allowed difficult airway training that were eventually adopted by MPL (Medical Plastics Lab). Eventually that intellectual property were transferred to Laerdal and became the airway mechanisms in the SimMan and as you may know, SimMan is one of the most widely used simulator platforms in the world.”

I then spoke with Nursing Professor and WISER Associate Director John M. O’Donnell CRNA, MSN, DrPH to learn about the collaborative institutions involved with WISER and the objectives of the nursing conference event. John reminded us:

“Six years ago, Paul Phrampus and I collaborated together and came up with the idea that we should have a multi-professional simulation course that focused mostly on nursing issues but open to anyone who wanted to come, and hold it as an international meeting which been running successfully ever since. The University of Pittsburgh (Academic) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Health System), which are two separate entities, together help us found and support WISER, which is the Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research. As we move forward working with our 9,000 nurses in our health system and our schools of nursing we have developed a group of supporters which has allowed us to hold this conference.

Our theme of this meeting is Bridges, and so we wanted to think of bridges between the didactic space and the clinical space and so we heard a variety of speakers, the first of which was Dr. Paul Phrampus, who is the President of Society for Simulation in Healthcare – and he gave a vision for where Simulation is and where its going.”

Dr. Phrampus’ presentation covered many topics, but what I found really unique was his suggestion that simulation can and should be explored for learner assessment and/or performance reviews.  Utilizing research examples which demonstrated an increase in learner outcomes and retention due to post-simulation exams, Paul made a really strong case for this shift in thinking towards simulation – which is demonstrated in the video above. He also showed how simulation can be used to exam individual moments of healthcare frame-by-frame, like taking a photograph of water droplets which occur too quickly for the human eye.  With this concept, Paul argued, we can tweak healthcare into perfection by identifying and slightly modifying all the possible variables which will ultimately lead to greater patient outcomes.

dr. paul phrampus

Afterwords I sat in on an amazing presentation about using simulation to test-run patient movement for a hospital relocation by Melinda Hamilton MD which I will summarize in a future article!

Next, we heard from Suzie Kardong-Edgren PhD RN Editor of the Clinical Simulation in Nursing Journal about bridging simulation research to publication, where she recommended these topics of interest those looking to get published:

  1. New uses of clinical simulation
  2. Use of simulation to teach…?
  3. Well executed research articles
  4. Higher level evaluation pieces
  5. New and novel items

After the morning sessions attendees shuffled to the WISER center located next door to engage in some really helpful simulation workshops. Jennifer Manos MSN provided an introduction to pediatric simulation orientation while next door, admin gurus Dan Battista MBA and Tomas Dongilli helped managers learn how to put together sim lab policies and procedures. They reminded us to collect documentation from our overarching institutions first which may provide both a format and already cover some key topic areas like dress code.

Jeffrey Groom PhD CRNA shared his successful medical student program which asked senior students to design and facilitate simulation scenarios for junior students – which helped retention and learning outcomes by providing learners the opportunity to show their knowledge by teaching others. Back at the hotel, Dr. Benjamin Berg conducted a breakout session about curriculum development and integration. Lastly, John and Paul provided how to reinforce student’s learning through structured and supported debriefing techniques.

pitt engineering body explorer

Nearby, University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering Biomedical Graduate Student Doug Nelson showcased the Simulation and Medical Technology Research and Development Center’s Body Explorer System. Using a projector and wii remote pen-system, Doug was able to draw over the body of a manikin and cut through various layers of animated skin! Watch the video coverage above to see it working beautifully in action!

Finally, to hear a Nurses perspective on the event, I asked a random attendee her thoughts on the meeting. Ruth Henderson RN MSN from Charleston Southern University suggested she “learned a great deal” and “would recommend this WISER Symposium for anyone interested in simulation, especially nurses”. And I wholeheartedly agree as this event really showcased some great advances in simulation!

To learn more about WISER and their Nursing Simulation Symposium or other globally-held simulation events, check out their website at http://www.wiser.pitt.edu. Oh, and be sure to stop by the UPMC Blog!