August 16, 2013By Lance Baily

SimStudio, Free Regional Simulation Conferences & UCSF Aug. Recap!


Yesterday I was invited to present at SimStudio, a meeting that started in 2011 and has run five times around the country including New York, San Francisco Bay area and more. This is a FREE event, designed to provide equal exchange for simulation and standardized patient champions (who made up more than half of the room) to connect and share and connect with new ideas and people!

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Simulation Studio was Co-Founded by Laurie Schroeder, Standardized Patient Educator and Medical Educator at NYIT and Tony Errichetti, Chief of Virtual Medicine at New York Institute of Technology’s New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Tony introduced the keynote speaker Gayle Gliva-McConvey, Director of Professional Skills Teaching and Assessment at the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning Eastern Virginia Medical School and President of APSE.

simulation studio keynote speaker 2013

Gayle provided a run down of how simulated patients got started in the 1950s, but really transformed into the term “Standardized Patients” as we know it today in the 1960s when actors started completing checklists. She then reminded us that SP‘s offer benefits including being: available and reliable, standardized and repeatable, safe, trained for feedback, controllable and supportive. Today Gayle explains that SPs are becoming clinical faculty “extenders”, especially with the challenges that are now hitting healthcare including: increased clinical demands on clinical faculty, availability of faculty, variation amongst faculty, control of faculty, increased numbers of programs and students/residents, available time is decreasing, and the increased costs of faculty.

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Gayle suggested that SP Coordinators have their SPs teach Physical Exams, through explanation, technique assessment and by providing feedback. Gayle continued to demonstrate to show how her SPs have taught how to suture through a program developed and overseen by the professional healthcare faculty. A survey of Nurse Practitioners who were trained through this program rated an 88% success rate for these skills being taught by SPs!

Next Connie Lopez MSN CNS National Leader, Patient Safety & Risk Management at Kaiser Permanente spoke about improving patient safety through simulation. In 1999 KP started looking at how to improve patient safety and found the greatest need for scenarios around treatment surgical, and diagnosis. When trying to convince administrators about the need to provide for hands-on practice, Connie shared how she explained that it would be like telling them she would teach them how to dance the tango over the phone and then later tonight they would need to get up and do it in front of the audience. Of course, they quickly understood the need to physically train on the didactic lessons their healthcare professionals were receiving. Knowing that hands-on learning increases retention rate to 75%, KP decreased birth injuries by 80% within just a few years of starting simulation trainings.

Adam Collins MD Anesthesiologist at UCSF spoke to the audience about the need to change healthcare education, siting that in the USA the cost of healthcare is 20% of the National GDP, which is greater than Japan, Germany, China, the UK, Canada and Brazil combined! Although the US is #1 in spending, the world super power is rated 38th in performance.

Adam reminded us that medicine has uncertainty and ambiguity in its knowledge base that exceeds human capacity, and which is always changing. To deal with this, he suggested healthcare better explore the administrative successes of Toyota’s LEAN project. LEAN is a production practice that leads to extermination of waste, which is most commonly found in transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction ,over-processing, and defects. Dr. Collins reminded us that “Miller’s Learning Retention Pyramid scores “can do” as the highest form of learning and knowing before asking us “If healthcare is about the doing, why are learning and relearning the Krebs cycle? It’s like bringing a TV on a hike up the mountain, and we as healthcare providers should get to doing earlier”. Of course, Adam believes medical simulation provides for the opportunity for teaching by doing where the rubber meets the road.

Next, Dr. John Boulet presented on “Beyond Psychometrics” where he encouraged us to track data, but poignantly noted that the human element should not be denied because we cannot measure everything, no matter how hard we try. Poker, for example, is a game of statistics, but also a game of bluffs – and gut feelings should be considered part of the data analyzed.

Several times throughout the day SP actors got in front of the audience playing parts to scenes that taught or entertained. This was a wonderful way of breaking up the day, and demonstrating the process actors go through to build a Standardized Patient. Such sessions from Educators, Physicians, Administrators, Entrepreneurs, Standardized Patient Actors, Clinicians and other all contributed to a meeting that broke down mental barriers and promoted collaborative learning.

I was thrilled to be invited to present on the benefits of the film-making production techniques of considering “mise-en-scene”, or what “goes in front of the camera”. The denotative props, hair, wardrobe, lighting, and background noise of your simulations all contribute to the connotative feeling or message being conveyed to simulation primary learners AND secondary learners watching via video link. This “education for all” free chautauqua style short presentations day-long meeting was a real pleasure to meet and connect with other simulation and standardized patient champions.

SimStudio is planning more amazing events at a location near you starting with Drexel University in Philadelphia next month, so visit to learn more today! 

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