March 17, 2020By Lance Baily

Additional Responses to the Coronavirus from the Medical Simulation Industry

We expand yesterday’s coverage of the Healthcare Simulation Industry Response to COVID-19 with additional resources shared with us by the global medical simulation community. It is absolutely crucial that every healthcare educational and training program in the world immediately review these clinical simulation tools to combat against the spread of the virus. From sim scenarios to research from the front lines in China, to sim lab policy ideas to online learning courses — here are the latest simulation in healthcare tools to fight COVID-19.

For more details of the items on this list, please be sure to also read / share this and our previous Coronavirus Simulation articles:

Do you have any additional resource to share, like a scenario file, research highlight, or success story? Email us right now so we can add it here!


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SimGHOSTS Board Member Shares Simulation Operations COVID-19 Considerations – This is Not a Simulation

SimGHOSTS Past President and Current Treasurer / Board Member, Dr. Scott Crawford MD, FACEP, CHSOS, provides an excellent review article here of the “need to know” information relevant to Coronavirus from the lens of a Simulation Center director. He writes, “With mass hysteria of a viral pandemic and fears of financial turmoil ruling the daily news discussions, this article attempts to bring forward a pragmatic approach on how to realistically review and adjust daily functioning of a simulation center. The primary mission for simulation labs should be to support healthcare education, patient (and learner) safety, and serve as a resource for training all aspects of patient care including communication, technical skills training, and promoting best practices in patient safety. While it is still debated if the Coronavirus COVID-19 can be contained or if sustained transmission is inevitable, it should be a consideration for all education and training programs to review and revise plans that would modify daily function.”

Since respiratory distress is the largest concern in patients with severe infection, those with an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) type disease pattern may require intubation and ventilatory support. Several recommendations have been put forth to minimize the risk of disease transmission.

  • Perform procedure in negative pressure room
  • Minimize personnel in room
  • Wear N-95 mask and face shield
  • Preoxygenate with a non-rebreather and avoid bag-valve mask use to minimize droplet formation
  • Use paralytics to prevent cough/gag

Current patient testing is still only recommended for:


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  1. Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control.
  2. Other symptomatic individuals such as, older adults (age ≥ 65 years) and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
  3. Any persons including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas (see below) within 14 days of their symptom onset.

But other guidelines have also suggested that we assume the disease exists in all communities and not wait until positive testing to institute countermeasures. Dr. Crawford also shares some technology tips for educational programs to use remote learning during the pandemic. Read the full article here!

Simulation Canada Coronavirus Resource Page, Scenario & Webinar

With their webinar planned for April 3, hear from Canadian simulation leaders on how they are using simulations to test and improve their hospital’s readiness and lessons learned, and take this back to your own hospital. Hospitals and students need to be prepared to face the virus, protect themselves, and prepare for potentially huge surges in ICU and ventilation requirements. Many simulationists are working on strategies and scenarios to prepare and test systems and educate providers and students.

Their COVID-19 Simulation Scenario by Tim Willet covers these learning objectives:

  1. Effective team communication from triage to intubation to disposition of a high-risk coronavirus patient
  2. Mitigating exposure of HCPs, patients, by appropriately isolating high risk patients in negative pressure room
  3. Mitigating personal risk by utilizing the appropriate donning/doffing of PPE
  4. Conducting effective high acuity clinical care (i.e. intubation) in space and personnel limited negative pressure room effectively

SIM-ONE is also collecting a list of COVID-19 resources here.

BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning Editorial Article

“Preparing and responding to 2019 novel coronavirus with simulation and technology-enhanced learning for healthcare professionals: challenges and opportunities in China” (available here) by Li et al.,  “illustrates and summarizes the current measures taken to respond to the emerging need for technology-enhanced learning and simulation during the COVID-19 outbreak in China and the potential challenges”.

Laerdal COVID-19 Webinars and Downloadable Case Scenario

To assist you in preparing your staff and teams, Laerdal is hosting a free webinar and offering a complimentary pre-programmed scenario. This scenario can be run on a Laerdal simulator or independently on a standardized patient. During this 1-hour webinar, one of Laerdal’s lead Education Specialists will demonstrate and share this scenario to afford you easy execution. The scenario is designed to help you test and improve your systems for infection control, PPE, and management of exposure to COVID-19 or any other high risk communicable respiratory illness. This webinar will be run on the following days and times: Wednesday, March 18 2:00pm EST and Friday, March 20 2:00pm EST. Learn more here!

Medline University Provides COVID-19 Courses for HealthStream Partners

The pandemic of novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a public health emergency affecting communities across our country and the world at large. Medline University has teamed up with our technology partner, Healthstream, offering a new collection of courses relevant to COVID 19 and best practices for using personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintaining proper hand hygiene, in addition to our regular courses in hand hygiene and PPE. For those with access you can find the course listings here.

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