February 2, 2023By Lance Baily

Ways Digital Transformation Enhances Healthcare Simulation Learning

Digital transformation has helped position healthcare simulation as an industry that can be used to effectively train the next generation of medical professionals. Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning has created a means for medical learners to continue their educational profession remotely and at any time. Across higher education, this digital transformation has helped clinical simulation educators to better ensure learning outcomes. To provide greater context into the ongoing digital transformation, this HealthySimulation.com article highlights takeaways from the publication “Digital Transformation in Higher Education: 7 Areas for Enhancing Digital Learning,” written by Florence Martin and Kui Xie.

Published by EDUCAUSE, the article “reflects on current practices and directions for digital transformation through a framework that supports the strategic responses and structural changes that higher education institutions could implement to enhance digital teaching and learning.” In doing this, the article first defines digital transformation for digital learning as “leveraging digital technologies to enable major educational improvements, enhance learner and instructor experiences, and create new instructional models through policies, planning, partnerships, and support.”

The framework the article proposes focuses on integrating digital technologies to establish digital transformation in higher education settings. The article references the 2019 research of Gregory Vial that emphasizes structural changes in four areas that must be met to achieve a digital transformation. These include organizational structure, organizational culture, leadership, employee roles, and skills. Further, within each of these four areas, there are seven interactive aspects that are necessary: digital learning technologies, instructional modality, personnel and support services, organizational policies and planning, instructor development, learner development, and partnerships. Below is a breakdown of each of these aspects, as reported by Martin and Xie.

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Explanation of 7 Aspects of Digital Transformation

1. Digital Learning Technologies: Digital transformation is grounded in digital technologies, which play a crucial role in digital teaching and learning. Digital technologies can be used in various instructional modalities to engage learners. Instructors can use these technologies to build engaging digital teaching and learning solutions.

2. Instructional Modality: Education can be offered through a number of instructional modalities. When a college or university offers several learning modalities or courses in more than one modality, learners can enroll in the modality that works best for them. Following is a list of common instructional modalities.

3. Personnel and Support Services: The growing prevalence of digital teaching and learning in various instructional modalities requires additional investments in support services and personnel at universities and colleges.

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4. Organizational Policies and Planning: With any digital transformation effort, administrators must be prepared to lead digital teaching and learning initiatives and support general teaching and learning across subject areas. Leaders should continue using research-based practices in their decision-making and value digital teaching and learning innovations in all processes, including tenure and promotions.

5. Instructor Development: When the pandemic started, faculty who were new to online teaching had to adapt quickly. Many needed to participate in digital teaching and learning professional development activities. As digital transformation marches forward, training opportunities and resources for faculty development need to evolve based on faculty needs.

6. Learner Development: Digital learning provides learners with opportunities to become educated in various modalities. This prepares them for the future workforce, where most jobs will require digital knowledge and skills.

7. Partnerships: The pandemic highlighted the potential to leverage various partnerships to develop quality digital teaching and learning. Examples of partnerships include collaboration with other universities, collaboration with professional organizations, and collaboration with industry. These types of collaborations strengthen digital teaching and learning initiatives by capitalizing on the knowledge of experts in the space.

To conclude the article, the authors stress that, moving forward, they believe digital transformation initiatives will become “commonplace for higher education institutions.” The flexibility and accessibility that digital transformation brings to learners have helped such institutions to adapt and evolve in parallel with society. Overall, the use of advancing technology across healthcare simulation is the future and continues to provide new, exciting opportunities for clinical simulation educators and learners alike.

Related HealthySimulation.com Recorded Webinar: Save Time with Digital Clinical Simulation Solutions from CAE Healthcare

Presented by Gary Taylor, this one-hour, intermediate webinar shows how simulation programs can maximize efficiency with a suite of digital simulation solutions from CAE Healthcare. Participants will learn how to make the most of their time from the team of digital experts at CAE. They highlight how these offerings will help maximize their time and talent, whether they are spending countless hours authoring scenarios, struggling to deliver education on-site and far away, or looking for a customizable center management solution. These components work independently and collectively based on needs, from scenario authoring and sim center management to virtual instructor-led training and remote self-directed learning. Learning objectives include:

  1. Discover digital platforms available for instructor-led and self-directed learning.
  2. Learn how to import scenarios and launch them across a variety of products.
  3. Summarize the different functions of the sim center management tool.

How Technology and Innovation Help Shape Healthcare Simulation

Chapter 19 of the healthcare simulation book, “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice,” specifically focuses on technology and innovation and was written by Nikita Joshi and Teresa Roman-Micek. In this chapter, the authors discuss how healthcare simulation and technology go hand-in-hand. Healthcare simulation utilizes technology to “recreate a clinical encounter or generate an experience with a procedure or patient interaction.”

The authors explain that, while many hear the word technology and think of machines and robots, clinical simulation technology may look different. Medical simulation can include the use of expensive and complicated resources, but the practice can also rely upon commercially available products. An example they provide is how nurses used to use oranges to practice administering medications via injection.

Healthcare simulation technologies can help provide more realistic, high-fidelity experiences. The goal of this book chapter was to provide an introduction to the various aspects of technology used across the medical simulation industry. Both Joshi and Roman-Micek hoped to inspire the creativity of the healthcare simulation technology specialist (HSTS) to explore beyond commercially available products. Through the information presented, the authors encourage HSTS to consider developing their own technology and ideas for simulation manikins, task trainers, and moulage – possibly even for commercial opportunities.

Read the Full EDUCAUSE Article Here

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