February 8, 2022By Lance Baily

Impacts of COVID on Healthcare Simulation Global Survey Results

COVID-19 has impacted the medical field in many ways, specifically impacting the ability of healthcare simulation centers to remain open and operational. While the onset of the pandemic presented such challenges, the virus simultaneously called for a push toward innovative change. For example, many medical simulation educators began implementing the increased use of virtual reality simulation and remote simulation scenarios during this time. To help present a comprehensive review of the impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare simulation, HealthySimulation.com put together a survey – which collected responses from over 100 simulationists worldwide. This article presents survey results and several conclusions, as reported at the Press Box during the 2022 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH).

For additional background, 32.3% of respondents reported having spent over 10 years of clinical simulation experience, and 23.1% reported having six to nine years of experience. Additionally, 30% reported having three to five years of clinical simulation experience, followed by 14.6% of respondents having zero to two years of experience. Further, the majority of participants reported that their program covers the disciplines of nursing students, nursing professionals, medical students, medical residents, medical professionals, etc.

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In terms of pandemic-related healthcare simulation lab closures, 10% of respondents said their labs have been closed for over a year, 14.6% said they were closed for 12 months or less, and 28.5% said they were closed for 6 months or less. Alternatively, 18.5% reported that their clinical simulation labs never closed and remained open throughout the pandemic. Interestingly, about half of respondents added that their simulation program used the pandemic closures as an opportunity to update or remodel their clinical simulation lab space.

“I think what’s important to note about this is that it was taking place during that time when the learners were out,” Lance Baily, Founder, and CEO of HealthySimulation.com, said. “If nothing else, we had an opportunity to take the help to remodel and redevelop their simulation spaces to help them achieve better outcomes overall.”

Another interesting point, the majority of respondents agreed that their simulation program had significantly increased the ability to provide remote learning opportunities due to COVID. Baily shares that he thinks this is very important, as this represents the “ripping off of the BAND-AID” to explore technologies and integrate them into clinical simulation programs.

“I’m under the belief that we have this technology adoption cycle, and that we here are somewhere in the early adopter phase of that technology adoption schedule. In order to get to a place where we have full adoption, we’ve got to have people who are willing to participate at every level of investment in simulation. There’s a lot of resistance to simulation from those folks who maybe have not had the opportunity to experience or work with simulation before, but because of COVID we no longer had any alternatives.”

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Another overwhelming trend was that about 70% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that their clinical educators/trainers had a more favorable view of what their healthcare simulation can offer following COVID-19. The majority further agreed that institutional leadership became more aware of the healthcare simulation programs and their capabilities since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It sounds to me with all of these results that people are making more investments into simulation-based technologies, getting better outcomes, and they are making an impact in terms of bringing more awareness and support from their institutional leadership. We’re really excited to hear all of these things,” Baily said.

Together, these reports are what likely led respondents to believe that, after COVID, remote learning capabilities will remain a key consideration for all future clinical simulation technology purchase decisions. For 58.5% of respondents, this makes them believe that remote learning investments will continue at their respective institutions even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Check out this PowerPoint for additional results!

More About the PressBox at IMSH 2022

The Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) hosts IMSH annually and offers over 250 sessions encompassing interactive and immersive courses and plenary sessions. The IMSH meeting is aligned with the SSH’s mission to “provide hands-on learning in leading-edge medical simulation trends and technology, networking and collaboration.” Furthermore, the programs are all peer-reviewed and are selected to serve the needs of novices to experts. For the first year ever, HealthySimulation.com partnered with SSH to provide the PressBox — a digitally recorded event with exclusive interviews, panel discussions, and presentations which highlight healthcare simulation champions, industry-wide trends, and must-know knowledge!

HealthySimulation.com Founder / CEO Lance Baily said that “the PressBox, produced by myself and SSH Marketing Director Curtis Kitchen, was an opportunity to dig deeper into global trends of healthcare simulation with leading experts, not only from academia but from the vendor community as well. We at HealthySimulation.com are thrilled to work with SSH and IMSH leadership to find more ways we can leverage digital media production to expand the conversation surrounding simulation, especially in streaming-based content. We look forward to expanding these conversations and production opportunities at IMSH 2023 and beyond!”.

Stay tuned to HealthySimulation.com for more PressBox content including a look at how XR technologies are revolutionizing clinical education, a check-in with simulation non-profit organizational leadership from around the world, discussions regarding the transformation of the simulation space since the COVID began, and much more! You can also start to see some of our Vendor recaps from the exhibit showroom floor here:

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Check Out These HealthySimulation.com COVID-19 Resources

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