July 28, 2021By Lance Baily

Collaborative Sim Scenario Design Made Easy with Cloud-Based iRIS Platform

What if clinical educators could collaboratively design simulation scenarios over the web that can be easily aligned to standards of best practice and exported to almost any simulator platform? Enter iRIS Health Solutions, a United Kingdom-based software company that provides an innovative and engaging web-based health care simulation scenario authoring platform to organizations worldwide. The technology helps clinical simulation educators to easily design, develop and manage high-quality training sim scenarios in collaboration with peers and subject matter experts by using a step by step wizard. Best of all, the solution allows users to export scenarios straight to manikins and other technologies from most leading simulation vendors. This includes Laerdal, CAE, UbiSim and now iSimulate. This article takes a closer look at iRIS, which has the full support of global simulation expert Dr. Kim Leighton.

Ultimately, the iRIS platform provides benefits that are on many simulationists wishlist: What if an educator had a platform where they could access hundreds of scenarios shared by other clinical simulation professionals? Customize them as needed? Collaborate in teams to create new scenarios in line with Standards of Best Practice? Export scenarios to technologies from CAE, Laerdal, UbiSim and iSimulate?

Many educators start by using simulation scenarios that they receive with their manikins, but more and more simulationists are developing those scenarios to address the specific needs of their learners. There are some standardized templates that help to accomplish that, but other faculty are using generic tools to develop their own, like Microsoft Word documents which are then emailed between multiple authors. This not only leads to errors, but confusion and a longer process, reducing performance outcomes overall. Also, departments within the same institution might be using different templates, further causing strife.

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This process can be challenging when educators want to share clinical simulation resources or develop IPE scenarios when everything is in a different format. They often find that no one is quite sure where the master and up-to-date version of a simulation scenario is stored. Duplicates exist, making this process difficult to maintain and ensure all learners receive the same learning experience, especially when there are multiple sites. Simply put, the scenario writing process without iRIS is complex, confusing and inefficient.

Dr. Kim Leighton, Ph.D., RN, CHSOS, CHSE, ANEF, FAAN, executive director of ITQAN Clinical Simulation & Innovation Center in Doja, Qatar, and former president of INACSL, sees one of the biggest benefits of iRIS as the ability to create scenarios across space and time.

“The organization I work for has 14 hospitals, and amongst that there’s 92 nurse educators. They’re not ever going to get together and figure out how to write their scenarios,” Leighton explained. “One scenario I created and programmed years ago took 18 hours.”

She explains that had she had a product like iRIS, she would have been guided through that in a much different way, saving her a lot of time. Dr Leighton notes that the beauty of the iRIS product is that it’s a wizard, and many nurse educators are familiar with that type of format. With a few simple clicks, they can be aligned with the standards of best practice.

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“iRIS allows us to create a scenario and then transfer the programming right into the simulator. The work that we do is directly aligned with patient safety and to try to reduce medical error. iRIS helps us design our educational activities according to standards of best practice from the very start, so we have better education.”

Watch Dr Leighton’s Full Testimonial Below:

iRIS Benefits

iRIS is hosted online, and requires only a browser for access, so it has a minimal IT footprint and is easy to deploy for simulation teams and faculty. When working in iRIS’s step-by-step wizard, educators seamlessly incorporate best practice frameworks (INACSL, ASPE, PEARLS Healthcare Debriefing Tool, etc.) across the full spectrum of simulation programs — full-body Manikins and Patient Simulators, Standardized Patients and Task Trainers. It is an ideal solution for educational institutions, simulation centers, simulation networks and simulation membership organizations.

One particularly amazing benefit of the iRIS solution is how easy it makes it for educators to create and share consistently high-quality content using the standardized wizard and approaches. iRIS helps educators to harness expertise as they develop new content and significantly reduces time collating and redeveloping simulation resources. iRIS provides step-by-step guidance, so it is also perfect for new simulation authors, as it helps them create scenarios in a straightforward and comprehensive way that aligns with INACSL and other standards of best practice.

“Thanks to iRIS, we have been able to achieve equity of access to high-quality educational material whilst creating a system that allows educational governance, collaborative development of high-quality educational material and sharing of resources. iRIS addresses the ‘reinventing the wheel’ phenomenon that often exists in the simulation and education community,” said Dr. David Grant, past president of SESAM, associate dean of HEESW (2012-2017), consultant in PICU at Bristol Children’s Hospital and simulation and interprofessional learning lead for the University of Bristol’s School of Medicine.

Case Study: Real-World iRIS Application

In 2018, iRIS began helping to transform simulation at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa. At the time, the University sought to develop interprofessional education (IPE) scenarios, fostering frequent collaboration across emergency medicine science and other health care professionals. But the university’s only standard format for scenarios was a Microsoft Word template. Scenarios and their resources would typically be emailed between authors for development or even exchanged via USB memory sticks.

As a result, John Meyer, lecturer within the university’s emergency medical sciences, knew things had to change. The immersive clinical simulation center needed a solution to improve the quality of scenarios, make authoring and sharing more efficient and reduce the pressures on the clinical simulation team. To meet this need, the university adopted iRIS to improve the quality of scenarios and make authoring and sharing easier and more efficient.

Since implementing iRIS, Meyer believes all the university’s simulation scenarios are now in a standardized format and housed in iRIS. Meyer says if the simulation isn’t in iRIS, then it isn’t approved for use with learners. The university now uploads all of the resources required to run a scenario directly into iRIS, including the Laerdal programming files generated by iRIS for its manikins.

“It has made our operation so much more efficient, as we know exactly where all the resources for a scenario are. The quality of our scenarios is improved by the process that iRIS has given us in authoring content,” Meyer said. “Our simulation technologists have easy access to scenarios well in advance of running them so that they know exactly how our labs need to be configured.”

Further, he added that CPUT has regained time from no longer having to search emails for up-to-date versions of scenarios and their resources or spend so much time supporting clinicians face to face. This saved time has enabled the university’s simulation team to expand their scope. They now develop clinical scenarios for new and exciting situations that learners previously would not have been able to experience. Meyer shared that as the global iRIS community grows, his team is enjoying the opportunity to collaborate and share clinical simulation scenarios with other institutions.

Learn More About iRIS

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