October 26, 2021By Lance Baily

WISER Expands, Adds Two Healthcare Simulation Satellite Centers

Despite COVID-19 challenges impacting the resources and growth of some clinical simulation centers, the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER) has continuously been expanding over the past year. In addition to the center’s realm of influence, WISER has added two new satellite centers to the institute’s network. Along with expanding WISER’s reach, these centers are providing opportunities for added team members. WISER’s newest satellite center, UPMC St. Margaret, recently opened its permanent location boasting four clinical simulation rooms, a classroom, and other spaces. Many programs developed at this satellite center focus on patient safety and staff training.

UPMC Children’s is WISER’s only pediatric-focused simulation center. This hospital-based program consists of two clinical simulation centers within the hospital: one in the emergency department and one on the second floor. Hundreds of programs are run annually at this center, and UPMC Children’s has become one of the first WISER satellite centers to offer training programs for family members who will be caring for babies in need when they return home.

“We have had an exhilarating time here at WISER. Two new satellite centers will be joining our team and up and running by early fall,” WISER Director Dr. Paul Phrampus announced in September 2021. “We’re excited to welcome the teams from UPMC Mercy Hospital as well as UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Department of Nursing Education to partner with us to increase the amount of simulation and innovative education that they can offer their respective institutions within our system. We applaud their continuing commitment to excellence associated with simulation-based programs and look forward to working with them.”

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Phrampus added that, as fall is the time of year when transitions occur across the health system, training and education efforts are as important and exciting as ever. He shared his belief that this is “a recharging time of year that reminds me of the critical importance of simulation to the patients to whom we ultimately provide care.” Often providing this care, fall is often when Phrampus says WISER begins teaching numerous core healthcare simulation-based programs to resident physicians who are crossing the chasm from medical school to residency, as well as many new graduates across various healthcare professions starting new jobs as they graduate from the respective programs.

WISER supports both the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences program, as well as the UPMC hospital system. The institution has an immediate impact on patient safety through initiatives created by UPMC. WISER is also helping to shape the healthcare professionals of the future through the integration into the curriculum of University programs.

Below is a video tour of the WISER Satellite Center at UPMC Passavant

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Established in 1994, the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education and Research (WISER) is a world-class multidisciplinary training, development, and research facility. WISER is a critical part of the infrastructure of the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Health System. WISER’s mission is to create education and training programs, along with patient safety solutions including those utilizing clinical simulation-based modalities to provide a safer environment for patients of the UPMC Health System and its affiliates.

WISER is dedicated to the advancement of healthcare simulation and education to improve patient safety, education, mentorship, systems design, and research to enhance the high-quality delivery of healthcare. This mission fulfills itself in academic curricula, hospital-based training initiatives, research, advanced instructional technology, and the development of innovative healthcare simulation programs. WISER is a world leader in healthcare simulation. WISER has trained and informed tens of thousands of future and practicing healthcare professionals in a variety of clinical simulation settings.

Using the web-based Simulation Information Management System (SIMS) – developed at WISER – staff, faculty, and students can interact across the globe. SIMS provides an operational and educational backbone, efficiently scheduling classes, delivering cutting-edge curriculum, and collecting and reporting on vital data that allows WISER to be a premier healthcare simulation education program. By quickly implementing this learning in the care of actual patients at UPMC hospitals, and by sharing results with the healthcare community through published articles, WISER improves patient safety in the Pittsburgh area and around the world.

Since receiving accreditation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) for a fellowship program, WISER is now one of only a few centers in the world accredited by SSH in all five specialty areas. WISER’s main campus is a 20,000 sq. foot facility – additionally, WISER operates eight Satellite Centers at UPMC hospitals across Western Pennsylvania. WISER is directed by Dr. Paul Phrampus, MD, who is also a professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

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