Sentinel U

Sentinel U, formerly Healthcare Learning Innovations, is an e-learning company that works to meet the evolving needs of healthcare education and training by providing simulation-based technologies and virtual learning tools. Founded in 2013, Sentinel U helps advance nursing academic education and healthcare professional training through virtual clinicals that are engaging, effective, and economic. Aligning outcomes with AACN BSN Essentials, QSEN Competencies, and NCLEX categories, Sentinel U provides nursing learners and practicing nurses with online simulations that are convenient to safely practice healthcare and patient scenarios anywhere, at any time, while earning virtual clinical hours.

All virtual simulations and clinicals are designed by Sentinel U’s Nursing faculty to help ensure that users can confidently and seamlessly map directly to AACN essentials, QSEN competencies, and NCLEX categories. According to Sentinel U, learners benefit from robust learning experiences that independent research has shown to be effective and to achieve required competencies.

The goals of Sentinel U’s digital solutions are to sharpen clinical reasoning, decision-making skills, and critical thinking competency while facing realistic patient encounters. They can also be used to practice community health and population health in a risk-free environment, and engage in realistic patient encounters across healthcare simulation settings.

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Across nursing and healthcare education, Sentinel U works to alleviate the pressure associated with difficulty in securing placement sites. This difficulty often results from the inability of supply of clinical sites available for nursing programs to keep up with the demand driven by the ongoing nursing and educator shortage. With Sentinel U’s virtual platform, this shortage is never an issue.

Another problem Sentinel U helps to solve is increased competition for clinical placement sites, which can result in a concern for patient safety and reduce the number of nursing learners allowed to train on a patient unit at one time. With virtual learning, an unlimited number of learners can gain experience practicing on a patient at once. Further, virtual simulations are a solution to geographic barriers in place due to the accelerating closure of rural hospitals.

All Sentinel U solutions include real-time feedback through comprehensive digital debriefs, and access to a robust product portfolio that includes interactive learning experiences in areas such as pediatrics, gerontology, mental health, and community health applications. Through these learning resources, simulated clinical hours can be earned.

The company’s specialty-based virtual clinical scenarios foster critical thinking and build confidence for learners and practicing nurses in these clinical settings. Currently, Sentinel U’s virtual clinicals address both healthcare education and training challenges for nurse educators, clinical coordinators, healthcare employees, human resource managers, practicing nurses, and more. Examples of Sentinel U’s virtual clinicals include:

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  • Sentinel City: Their flagship product that was originally developed to teach nursing students how to conduct windshield surveys now includes 30 assignments and a “family support and home assessment” virtual clinical scenario. This solution comes with 13 diverse citizens and 16 locations, with hundreds of unique data and demographics and an admin portal with access to activity reports.
  • Sentinel Town: This simulation allows students to navigate through a community featuring the unique healthcare requirements of people living in remote U.S. areas.
  • Prioritization of Care — Hospital: A hospital-based scenario where students examine patients and prioritize their needs into two levels of care.
  • Prioritization of Care — Clinic: A clinical scenario where students examine patients and prioritize their needs into two levels of care.
  • Patient Management and Delegation: A clinical scenario where students act as charge nurses, practicing making management and delegation decisions based on handoff reports and other information.
  • Nursing Quality Indicators: A clinical scenario where students care for various patients spread across five levels and predict the impact of clinical judgments and nursing decisions.
  • Family Support and Home Assessment with Care Plan: An apartment walk-through that allows students to interview and holistically assess families’ daily living environments.

In addition to virtual clinicals, Sentinel U has also launched a Telehealth Case Study Series. There are five products offered through Telehealth, and each clinical setting walks the learner through virtual office visits with three remote patients. Within these virtual clinicals, learners interpret alerts to provide long-distance clinical care and professional health education using electronic data and telecommunications technology. The following specialties will be available:

  • Medical – Surgical Novice
  • Medical – Surgical Advanced
  • Maternal / OB
  • Pediatrics
  • Mental / Behavioral Health

The expanded digital learning programs with Sentinel U can provide engaging remote learning resources immediately at scale for nurse educators, hospital managers, residency program instructors, clinical coordinators, healthcare employees, HR managers, or practicing nurses. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, educators need to identify ways that learners can engage with digital learning resources from anywhere and anytime.

In April 2021, Sentinel U announced that the company had signed agreements with simulation content providers KbPort and the Infusion Nurses Society to enhance a new Sentinel Health virtual health system platform. Sentinel Health is being designed as the first one-stop portal customized for healthcare virtual simulation learning content and is expected to become available in 2021.

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“We are thrilled that we have entered into agreements with KbPort and Infusion Nurses Society to provide their amazing content through our new Sentinel Health platform,” Jeffrey Caplan, president of Sentinel U, said in a news release. “We discovered a need for educators to easily find healthcare virtual simulations. There is a lot of great simulation content scattered around, but not in one centralized location. We hope that we can make nursing educators’ lives a little easier by providing access to a multitude of simulations across all healthcare topics.”

The first content to be added to the Sentinel Health platform will be the Fundamentals of Infusion Therapy (FIT) product, a comprehensive, virtual, and interactive training program based on the Infusion Nurses Society Standards of Practice. It is designed to form the educational foundation for all clinicians engaged in infusion therapy.

Two KbPort products will be added to the Sentinel Health platform, SimEMR, a simulated electronic medical record solution that enables students to learn how to chart electronically in today’s hospitals, and VirtualMeds Manager, a web-based platform that allows for the simulation of medication administration activities. More will be added in the future. Learn more on the Sentinel U website or read these articles below.

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