August 24, 2021By Lance Baily

Sim Scenario Authoring Tool iRIS Increases University’s Remote Collaboration

Imagine if there was a way to create healthcare simulation scenarios which could be used across different settings, with varying resources, and with the potential to enhance the care of a large number of patients. This is a reality today with iRIS, an innovative and engaging, web-based healthcare simulation scenario authoring platform from UK-based iRIS Health Solutions Limited, which is also distributed by CAE Healthcare. This case study shares the impact of iRIS at UT Health San Antonio which implemented it to enhance their scenario design and use of clinical simulation.

The Center for Simulation Innovation (CSI) in the School of Nursing at the University needed their remote team members to be able to develop scenarios together. They needed to create scenarios from scratch for different programs in a simple way, and via virtual team collaboration. To save faculty time, the University wanted a scenario development platform that:

  • Was time-effective
  • Improved Subject Matter Expert engagement, and
  • Improved the standardization of content across programs.

Initially, based on their curricula, the University’s subject matter experts all took slightly different approaches to create simulation scenarios, and the Center was becoming overwhelmed. iRIS enabled UT Health to transition to a high-quality, standardized process. Dr. James Cleveland, Director of the CSI at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, describes iRIS as: “Revolutionary at a time when the University’s simulation center was just preparing for launch. The University was able to quickly increase the use of simulation across its curriculum from 15% – 20%, to all 100% of the undergraduate curriculum.”

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“iRIS allows us to use a universal template, and for everyone to speak the same language. It allows us to share our simulations to other professional entities within UT Health San Antonio,” added Manager AV & Teaching Support Braulio Amezaga.

UTHealth San Antonio has been able to streamline scenario development processes. iRIS provides a one-stop place for simulation development, and has made a previously laborious process both simpler and better in terms of the quality of scenarios.

“Beforehand, we sent an email to the manager, the manager then got the team together, etc.. It was a time-consuming process. Word documents were also a pain, different people had different versions of Windows and Word. iRIS has really streamlined our whole simulation development process,” Amezaga explained.

“A process that once took three months, now takes less than a week. In iRIS it’s just one format, one application, and it’s web-based. It’s helped us out tremendously. It’s like watching someone put a jigsaw puzzle together overnight. I can’t speak well enough of what iRIS provides for us as a development tool,” said Dr. Cleveland.

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UT Health SA also appreciates how iRIS, as a technology-agnostic platform, works with manikins and technologies from leading vendors. “We have multiple simulators down here at the lab. So (iRIS) collaborating with CAE, Laerdal, and all these other groups really helps us a lot as an institution.”

Dr. Cleveland found that this collaboration has enabled individuals to focus on what they do best and to develop scenarios faster. He shares that, “The subject matter experts don’t have to be simulation experts anymore. The simulation experts don’t have to become subject matter experts in the process. Faculty are also more apt to want to come up with ideas now. Previously they’ve always been hindered by saying ‘oh I don’t know enough about simulation’, but now with iRIS, we get more rapid development.”

In addition, he explained that “If you’re an institution that’s looking to go into IPE, then this is a way for you to share and collaborate among multiple clinicians, faculty and staff members, and be able to see the same scenarios and speak the same language. iRIS even has a dictionary for simulation, and built-in resources to assist you.”

“Once we were able to implement iRIS, and then share the resources, everybody could see what we have available. That increased the way we use simulation; now we have more players in the field,” said Amezaga,

An online interface is tailored for healthcare simulation authoring, and a step-by-step wizard provides added support. In addition, through FairShare, scenarios can be shared, reused and adapted across the community. Scenarios can also be exported into healthcare simulators, such as those from CAE and Laerdal. The wizard is based on best-practice guidelines from INACSL, ASPE, SSH, and others.

“iRIS is there to help you elevate your content, it’s there to help you drive the quality of the scenarios you’re writing, and help standardize the format and the way you’re developing scenarios,” explained Gary Taylor, Business Development Director at iRIS Health Solutions Limited. “Importantly, iRIS is intended for use not only by the simulation team, but by the subject matter experts or faculty that you might be working with to develop these scenarios. It’s there to help you collaborate virtually with peers and subject matter experts.”

More About iRIS

iRIS Health Solutions’ technology helps clinical simulation educators to easily design, develop and manage high-quality training simulation 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 directly to mannequins and other technologies from most leading simulation vendors, including Laerdal, CAE, UbiSim and now iSimulate.

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 mannequins and patient simulators, standardized patients and task trainers. This platform 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 their expertise as they develop new content, and significantly reduces time organizing and redeveloping simulation resources.

iRIS provides step-by-step guidance, so the platform is also perfect for new simulation authors, as the solution helps them create scenarios in a straightforward and comprehensive way that aligns with INACSL and other standards of best practices. Other benefits of the iRIS scenario authoring tool include:

  • Maximizing the impact of simulations through standardized, high-quality authoring.
  • Achieving significant time efficiency for authoring content and organizing simulation resources.
  • Reducing the time and effort required to train colleagues in authoring content.
  • Increasing the impact of high-quality content through sharing across the community.
  • Exporting scenarios directly to simulators and other technologies from leading vendors.

“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 Program Director and Simulation and Interprofessional Learning Lead for the University of Bristol’s School of Medicine.

Learn More About iRIS

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