November 3, 2021By Lance Baily

Survey: Impacts of COVID19 on Healthcare Simulation Industry

For the past two years, healthcare professionals all over the world have shared with staff that COVID-19 has put clinical simulation “on the map”. During numerous CE Webinar presentations over the past 18 months, such as those given by Dr. Laura Gonzalez, PhD, APRN, CNE, CHSE-A, ANEF, FAAN Vice President, Clinical Learning Resources of Sentinel U, or Dr. Kellie Bryant, DNP, WHNP, CHSE, Executive Director of Simulation and Assistant Professor at Columbia University School Of Nursing, that the technologies invested to overcome COVID were in many cases more affordable, more efficient, and more effective. Indeed, Yoon Soo Park, PhD, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Director of Health Professions Education Research Massachusetts General Hospital recently shared at the Healthcare Distance Simulation Collaboration event in June 2021 (video embedded below), 82% of 618 clinical simulation programs will be continuing distance simulation/hybrid simulation beyond the end of COVID19. As such, has developed a 5 minute industry survey to better understand the impacts of COVID19 on healthcare simulation, with the results to be shared here next month. Today we ask readers to participate and share the survey to help us all reflect on the future of medical simulation. Take the quick survey by clicking here or completing it below:

In his recent op-ed Why Healthcare Simulation is About to Become One of the World’s Most Important Industries, Founder / CEO founder Lance Baily shares some of the reasons he believes that COVID19 has forever changed the landscape of clinical simulation. Baily argues that institutional leadership, whether it be in the educational space or professional training space, saw just how helpful the simulation programs can be to overcome massive COVID challenges including COVID testing site simulation dry runs, vaccine site simulation drills, closed campuses, canceled clinical rotations or telehealth training.

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Accustom to using innovative technologies to overcome unique training challenges, including resistance to change by the majority of their peers and the systems currently in place, healthcare simulation champions were extremely well suited to the task at hand. Silicon Valley and its capital investment firms are taking notice, with massive funding rounds for digital simulation technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality Hybrid Simulation and more, with many examples like the US Army’s $22B investment into Hololens technology or Labster’s acquisition of UbiSim shared in the article linked above.

SSH SimSeries Characteristics of Distance Healthcare Simulation During COVID19

Advances in Simulation: ‘COVID-19 pandemic preparation: using simulation for systems-based learning to prepare the largest healthcare workforce and system in Canada’

According to the article, “COVID-19 pandemic preparation: using simulation for systems-based learning to prepare the largest healthcare workforce and system in Canada,” healthcare resources have been strained to previously unforeseeable limits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Further, the article shares that clinical simulation has been proven to be pivotal for both healthcare provider learning and systems integration in the context of testing and integrating new processes, workflows, and rapid changes to practice (e.g., new cognitive aids, checklists, protocols) and changes to the delivery of clinical care. Overall, the goal of the paper is to share the unique features and advantages of using a centralized provincial simulation response team, preparedness using learning and systems integration methods, and to share the highest risk and highest frequency outcomes from analyzing a mass volume of COVID-19 simulation data across the largest health authority in Canada. Noteworthy excerpts from the article include:

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“The importance of using simulation as a “first choice” strategy for ensuring individual, team, and system readiness in times of crisis is supported by multiple publications in the literature [5, 51,52,53], and highlights that a sustained investment in simulation programs will have immeasurable impacts across healthcare systems following the pandemic. Many of these papers indicate a single site or unit approach to pandemic preparation, although do not specifically highlight using a coordinated and centralized simulation team, development of robust valid curriculum, and real-time data analysis of emerging themes from hundreds of simulations.”

“One of the emerging findings that differed our project from other COVID-19 system simulations experiences both nationally and globally in using simulation as both a learning and evaluation tool to prepare was recognizing the critical importance of embedding simulation as a central part of the organizational learning, and the overall pandemic preparedness strategy. Similar to an operational “Emergency Command Center,” simulation programs (regardless of the size) need to situate themselves to be members “at the table” with key programs informing decision-making, and influencing organizational planning and pandemic preparedness from the beginning.”

“Recognizing that not all health authorities have the opportunity to coordinate or operationally support a centralized team and curriculum across sites; we recommend the explicit effort of simulation programs to align with other programs in meaningful ways to analyze and share emerging data in real-time to support validation for broader sharing and scalability when possible.”

“Our pandemic preparedness highlighted the essential use of simulation as both an evaluation tool capable of testing systems and processes, and identifying and mitigating LSTs, as well as an education tool capable of rapidly preparing frontline teams in terms of the changes identified above. This project has identified how the dissemination and broadcasting of curriculum and lessons learned (e.g., emerging themes, innovations, systems-based approaches) from simulation can rapidly help a large organization over a large geographic area be adequately prepared for an evolving situation like the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.”

Take the Survey to Share Your Experiences!

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