July 16, 2021By Lance Baily

SSH’s SimOps 2021 Simulation Operations Conference Opens at CAMLS Tampa

Yesterday in Tampa Florida, the 2021 SimOps event opened at the University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) with over 100 in-person attendees and more participating virtually from around the world. Organized by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), this year’s theme was to “Unify” the community following the chaos of COVID-19, as this is in fact the first in-person healthcare simulation conference since the global pandemic began, with masks still required within the simulation center during the entire event. HealthySimulation.com was on hand and reporting on #SimOps2021!

Phillip Wortham, MBA, BA, CHSOS-A, Director of Operations and Technology for CAMLS opened the show, introducing the dozens of team members from SSH, CAMLS, CHIPS, Indiana University and numerous vendors who worked tirelessly to create a successful and safe event. He proudly shared that 22 exhibitors and sponsors, the most ever for a SimOps event, were showcasing the latest healthcare simulation technologies today in the vendor area, including EMS SimulationIQ, CAE Healthcare, iRIS, Laerdal, University of Miami Gordon Center, Simulab, Ubisim, Body Interact, Limbs & Things, 3D Systems, Intelligent Ultrasound, Intelligent Video Solutions and more.

Shelita Kimble MEd, BS, CHSOS, Senior Systems Analyst at the TIPS Education Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center provided the opening keynote presentation. Shelita reminded the audience that the diversity among the simulation technology specialists community is one of its greatest strengths, as the dynamic range of unique backgrounds expands the overall skillset of the combined community. She suggested that the way Sim Techs can move forward with professional development is to get out of the control room, and into the board room. Shelita shared her journey as a volunteer at the Society for Simulation in Healthcare as a SIG chair, section chair, conference organizer, organization secretary and now keynote speaker, demonstrating the opportunities for professional advancement which exist for those willing to support their community.

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Shelita recognized how empowering the past ten years have been for professional development of the technical community (with recent books like Technology and Innovative Practices, conferences like SimOps, organizations like SimGHOSTS). However, Shelita believes the next decade will even further empower technicians to be fully appreciated as professionals within the healthcare space, and more specifically, to have more standardized salary recognition.

Behind the Curtain: Operations and Safety Considerations for Pharmacy Simulations Session

During the afternoon, Chelsea Renfro PharmD, CHSE Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Jarrod Young, MBA, BSE, CHSOS-A, Interim Co-Director, Simulation Operations Lead at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center CHIPS center, Les Barta, MPA, NRP, CHSE, Director Simulation Technology Program at Ernest Maria School of Pharmacy, and Jenni Beall, PharmD, BCPS, CHSE, Director of Pharmacy Labs and Simulation / Professor of Pharmacy at Samford University McWorter School of Pharmacy presented “Behind the Curtain: Operations and Safety Considerations for Pharmacy Simulations”.

The presentation showcased how these institutions are utilizing clinical simulation for pharmacy education, through simulated pharmacy labs, simulated medications, and IPE training. The team also discussed simulation operation considerations when designing and implementing pharmacy simulators, summarized technical operation lessons, and identified numerous ways simulation could be utilized in other healthcare programs.

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IPE opportunities which incorporated pharmacy students included mixing with medical students to assess, diagnose and treat patients, telehealth patient rounds, and medication administration training. Across all the programs they utilized standardized patients to help pharmacy students experience realistic patient engagements, including patients having cardiac arrests following medication, patients seeking opioids, or just general patient education / counseling.

One consideration that the presenters recommended was to ensure that simulated medications list exactly the right dosage, method, and concentration suggested for the scenario, as even minor errors can cause major learner confusion. Of course, each institution should confirm with its administration as well as national, regional and local regulators with considering the repurposing of expired or unused medications for simulated purposes. Furthermore, when dealing with large orders of sharps needles, and similarly other medication materials for simulated meds, must specific security protocols must be prepared for and maintained just like in the actual healthcare setting.

Additional sessions during the event included:

  • From Simulation Operations Specialist to Educator: Growing Your Career in Simulation
  • (Spanish) Development and Management of Sim-based Programs
  • Behind the Curtain: Operations and Safety Considerations for Pharmacy Simulations
  • Maintaining an Accurate Inventory System at Your Simulation Center
  • The Show Goes On: Professional Development Stories from the Pandemic
  • Data Management: The Key to Telling Your Story
  • Training Surgeons Outside the OR — Adding Live Tissue to Your Simulation Offerings
  • (Spanish) Low Cost, Low Resource Trainers: Get Innovative from a Design Thinking Perspective
  • 3-D Printing, Is It Worth It? Costs and Considerations
  • AR/VR/XR: Current State of Immersive Technology in Healthcare Simulation
  • Simulation Pre- Course Documentation Educational and Ops Best Practices: Gearing Up For Success
  • Homemade Slime Is Not Just For Kids; Multiple Low-Cost NonStaining Moulage Solutions
  • And many more…

In the evening, the participants celebrated the newly appointed CHSOS-A designees with a reception sponsored by Echo Healthcare. The Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist-Advanced (CHSOS-A) certification is a portfolio-based certification for leaders in healthcare simulation operations. This certification distinguishes those who have proven themselves to be advanced operations specialists in their practice in healthcare simulation and serve as mentors and examples to others in the field. Individuals who are interested in obtaining this certification and demonstrating their high level of expertise are encouraged to apply.

More About CAMLS

The University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in Tampa is one of the world’s largest, free-standing simulation facilities exclusively dedicated to training healthcare professionals. CAMLS provides simulation experiences for educating students; training health care faculty in simulation education; and preparing health care professionals to acquire, maintain and enhance their clinical practice to meet today’s workforce needs and improve patient care in Tampa Bay, Florida and around the globe.

The CAMLS facility, opened in 2012, is a 90,000-square-foot, three-story facility that provides a state-of-the-art, high-fidelity clinical environment with 60,000 square feet dedicated to surgical skills labs, operating trauma suites, and patient exam rooms, plus more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. CAMLS specializes in providing a realistic training environment for healthcare providers and can replicate nearly any clinical/medical environment, including the use of virtual and human ‘patients’ (standardized patients) as well as testing resources.

Additionally, CAMLS is a world-class meeting and conference center, and also serves as a unique backdrop for television, commercial, and film production due to its ability to replicate a realistic setting for a hospital, a doctor’s office, a clinic, or even an accident scene with lifelike ‘patients’ – without the rigors of using an actual health care facility. CAMLS takes pride in providing concierge level service in an academic-entrepreneurial business model which enables flexibility to serve the needs of a wide range of clients and learners.

Learn More About SimOps Events on the SSH Website!

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