Aviation’s Black Boxes Are Coming to Healthcare Training

black boxes in healthcare

This summer I was thrilled to provide the SESAM closing plenary address where I shared the past, present and future of healthcare simulation — and made direct calls for healthcare to integrate a “blackbox” into healthcare. The argument is simple: recording devices have been successfully improving aviation training and performance outcomes since the 1970s — and in a day and age where police body cameras are becoming affordable for every single officer, clearly healthcare is on a similar path. Today here is more support for such a conversation from Richard Corder, Partner at Wellesley Partners which provides Executive Coaching in Boston and throughout the Northeast:

There are many industries, other than healthcare, that work in complex environments where the actions of one human can impact the life of another. Healthcare leaders need to acknowledge the reality that we have much to learn from other industries. While we cannot mimic others entirely, the same general operating principles (including mindfulness that serves as the overarching organizational spirit) that are the foundation for other high reliability organizations (i.e.: aviation, nuclear power) can work just as well to prevent harm from occurring in health systems.

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One example of a safe practice or technology that could shared across industries is the in-flight data recorder found on all commercial airliners. It was because of the in-flight data recorder on board the two Boeing 747s that crashed into one another on the island of Tenerife in 1977 that we learned so much about the decisions and behaviors resulting in that game-changing airline disaster.  The time stamped voice commands of those at the controls were captured in real-time, and provided a blueprint of what “not to do” along with a snapshot of what needed to be changed.

Now envision this: following a surgical procedure, regardless of the outcome, we have the opportunity to review every piece of data related to the procedure.

Read the full article on Healthcare Executives Network

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Video Games Improve Performance for Surgeons

video games increases surgeon performance

Recently Reuters reported on research highlighting how “video games can improve fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, visual attention, depth perception and computer competency”. Article excerpt:

Video game skills translated into higher scores on a day-and-half-long surgical skills test, and the correlation was much higher than the surgeon’s length of training or prior experience in laparoscopic surgery, the study said. Out of 33 surgeons from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that participated in the study, the nine doctors who had at some point played video games at least three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, performed 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better in the test of surgical skills than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games before. “It was surprising that past commercial video game play was such a strong predictor of advanced surgical skills,” said Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile, one of the study’s authors.

“Video games may be a practical teaching tool to help train surgeons,” senior author Dr. James Rosser of Beth Israel said. It supports previous research that video games can improve “fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, visual attention, depth perception and computer competency,” the study said. “Video games may be a practical teaching tool to help train surgeons,” senior author Dr. James Rosser of Beth Israel said.

Read the full story on Reuters!

eoSim Provides Validated Affordable Surgical Training Solutions

surgical training box

Looking for affordable surgical training boxes with performance tracking through various OS platforms? Check out the various elegant surgical trainers from eoSurgical.

With eoSim, Trainees can learn advanced suturing techniques with the top of the range SurgTrac Elite take-home simulator, with access to the Core, Advanced and Elite Curricula.

Includes everything you need to take your skills training to the highest level:

  • SurgTrac training platform: access to our new SurgTrac software and the 6-module SurgTrac Elite Curriculum (in addition to the Core & Advanced Curricula).
  • Complete the SurgTrac Elite curriculum via distance learning, and receive remote assessment & feedback from our faculty.
  • Follow your skills progression via your online profile – now accessible from any device.
  • See the fastest times for each module via the Top Scalpel leaderboard.\
  • 6 x laparoscopic instruments: Ratcheted grasper, non-ratcheted grasper, scissors, knot pusher (to make reusable endoloops) & a pair of needle holders.
  • 3 x practice models: Peg-board (with thread), three-clip board, two-clip board & suture pad.
  • Disposables for practice models: 1 x roll of nylon thread, 2 x gloves, 4 x precision cutting templates, 4 x dice, 5 x paper clips, 6 x elastic bands, 8 x red & blue instrument stickers, 10 x foam tubes, 10 x white balloons, 10 x green balloons, 12 x 3/0 braided sutures.
  • High Definition 1080p USB plug-and-play scope built in.
  • LED light strip built in to provide optimal illumination.
  • Compatible with Mac OS 10.7 onwards and Windows 7 onwards.
  • Single user license
  • Also works with Tablets and Smartphones – even quicker and easier to get practising.

Learn more on the eoSurgical website!

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Finding Gold — Why Simulation Leads to Better Team Members


Today an interesting article from outside the specific frame of medical simulation by Lee Colan on Inc.com with his work Why Engaging Leaders Coach Now vs. Pay Later. This article is a great reminder that we as simulation champions enable others to bring out their best not by simply telling them what to do, or showing them what to do — but by having them actually do what they are going to do! Consider Andrew Carnegie:

“A reporter asked Carnegie how he had hired 43 millionaires. Carnegie responded that those men had not been millionaires when they started working for him but had become millionaires as a result.

The reporter’s next question was, “How did you develop these men to become so valuable to you that you have paid them this much money?” Carnegie replied that men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold, but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt–one goes in looking for the gold.

Some leaders find themselves sitting on a mountain of gold, and yet they feel poor because they don’t know how to mine the gold from their teams. Coaching is how we mine our team’s gold.

The coaching challenge in today’s mega-busy workplace is that people only remember 20 percent of what they hear. And if those people are teenagers, you can divide that number in half!

As the retention scale below illustrates, inspiring extraordinary results requires just a little extra time and effort. People generally remember:

  • 90% of what we both say and do (simulating the real thing, doing the real thing)
  • 70% of what we say (participating in a discussion, giving a talk)
  • 50% of what we hear and see (watching a movie, looking at an exhibit, watching a demonstration)
  • 30% of what we see (looking at pictures)
  • 20% of what we hear (instructions)
  • 10% of what we read (memos, books)

Coaching is a pay-me-now or pay-me-later leadership proposition. Take a shortcut and you will be saying the same thing to the same team member next week–no fun for either of you. Do it correctly, and you inspire higher performance and competence … and competence builds confidence. Team confidence is a vital asset for any leader who wants to elevate performance.

Read the full article on Inc.com for Action Questions and more insights!

Healthcare Education Assessment Training and Technology Event This August

HEATT, which stands for Healthcare Education Assessment Training and Technology, is having its first annual event this August in Orlando Florida. The goal of this meeting is to improve education and training to promote enhanced safety, efficiency, capacity and performance. Expanded objectives for this event will be formulated later this month at The Future of Healthcare Education and Training — at the CAMLS Center in Tampa, FL.

heatt 2014

Friday 22 – Sunday 24 August 2014
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida USA

What is HEATT?

HEATT is a major new event designed to bring together all those who contribute to the development and deployment of education and training technologies and techniques in healthcare. These topics are covered to a greater or lesser extent in a multitude of other events across the world and through the year but there is a need for a single forum to bring the sector together and discuss these topics, not in specialty specific conferences but in an open integrated forum.

HEATT is organized by The Halldale Group, publishers of simulation and training magazines; and the organizers of over 50 training conferences and events for high technology, high risk industries.


We know that healthcare is not working properly and aside from the well documented human cost, up to a half of healthcare expenditure in the US, or $1.2 trillion, is lost due to avoidable error and waste. It will take new and better, individual and team training within a robust system designed to minimize the possibility of error to create a proper system of care fit for patients, staff and the healthcare business. Helping to create that system and support it through timely and excellent training is what HEATT is designed to do.

HEATT will draw the best minds in the sector from all disciplines and professions to a focused forum which will address the overall need for a ‘training renaissance’. By making best use of new and emerging teaching techniques, technology, training and assessment tools and drawing on best practices the event will promulgate best practices and the benefits they offer patients, staff and the healthcare business.

Who should attend HEATT?

HEATT is for everyone involved in healthcare education. If your involvement is from a student’s first exposure in high school through nursing and med school, residency, practice and ongoing career you should attend HEATT and contribute to the discussion.

Hospital and healthcare executives need to be aware of the potential for improvement that other high risk industries have already realized. Hospital managers, risk specialists, insurers and government will be key to the change that is needed in healthcare E&T to develop a system of affordable quality care.

Visit http://halldale.com/heatt2014 to learn more today!

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