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How Intelligent Device Monitoring Can Save Your Simulation System

How Intelligent Device Monitoring Can Save Your Simulation System 640 480 Level 3 Healthcare

Ditch Simulation System Downtime with Non-Cloud Monitoring

It used to be that the biggest threat to classroom training was a broken piece of chalk or a dead bulb in the overhead projector. As more and more medical training programs and healthcare facilities incorporate complex simulation systems and technologies, however, the number of things that can go wrong are increasing. And each of those glitches and the downtime they create can have negative impacts to classroom and training schedules and outcomes.

When a simulation system goes down, for example, classes get cancelled, and training plans and schedules fall behind. But the fix is often complicated and time-consuming. Simulation systems may include microphones, speakers, and cameras, as well as control rooms and debriefing software. For these complex systems, the best fix is the ability to identify issues early and respond to them rapidly. And that is exactly what Pulse IDM —an intelligent device monitoring system designed for the SIMStation solution—does.

The 24/7 monitoring provided by Pulse IDM can minimize problems that negatively impact the use of simulation systems and resolve issues that do arise more quickly and with less disruption to users.

Three Ways Pulse IDM Improves Simulation

  1. Proactively monitoring. Pulse IDM monitors all the devices in your simulation lab, including microphones, cameras, and speakers. By proactively monitoring each of these technologies 24/7, Pulse IDM can catch small issues before they turn into big problems, enabling Level 3 to resolve issues before they negatively impact the operation or functionality of the system. While Pulse IDM is designed specifically for the SIMStation hardware and software, it can be used with any simulation solution installed by Level 3.Lenny Convis, Director of Special Projects explains, “What makes Pulse IDM unique is that we have taken various opensource components and have tailored this system specifically for the hardware and software that we use within these simulation environments.”
  1. Increasing productivity and participation. Decreased downtime for simulation systems means you minimize training time lost to equipment failure and repairs. Proactively identifying and resolving issues that impact system functionality also eliminates user frustration that can impede consistent use of your simulation technology. Pulse IDM takes the burden of monitoring, managing, and maintaining simulation systems off the plate of IT teams and simulation techs, freeing up their time to focus on their more important strategic work. Finally, Pulse IDM performs remote system updates to minimize disruptions while the simulation system is in use.
  2. Keeping data secure. Pulse IDM is a small appliance, installed in your simulation room, that communicates directly with secure servers hosted by Level 3 Healthcare. All system monitoring is done internally, within your simulation network, keeping proprietary healthcare data out of the cloud.

Next Steps

Tired of technology glitches, system downtime, and decreased adoption of the system due to user frustration? Or hoping to avoid those things altogether? Fill out our contact form and a Pulse IDM representative will be in touch soon.

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3 Questions to Answer Before You Choose a Simulation Solution

3 Questions to Answer Before You Choose a Simulation Solution 2000 1333 Level 3 Healthcare

Cheap Simulation Systems Aren’t a Bargain—Here’s Why

If you are trying to decide between two pairs of navy blue socks and one costs $5 while the other costs $25, the decision is likely a no-brainer. When it comes to comparing and choosing simulation software, however, you shouldn’t make your decision based on price alone. Unlike socks, going with a lower-priced simulation system could cost you the functionality and ease-of-use you need to meet your objectives. And low quotes on simulation systems often don’t include AV installation and other ancillary costs, so your “good deal” often ends up being more expensive in the end.

So, if you can’t choose between simulation systems based on price, what should you be looking for? Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before you choose a simulation solution.

What You Need to Know Before You Choose a Simulation Solution

  1. Does the simulation system have all the features you need? You might be enticed by a low price, but does that price include all the features you need, such as recording, control room, and debriefing room software, as well as video streaming? Are you choosing a stationary system when you could make better use of a mobile one? If you have to add components or capabilities to a system after you’ve purchased it, you’ll probably end up spending more money than you would have had you invested in a more comprehensive system in the first place. You may run into usability and compatibility issues as well. For example, SimStation provides multiple configuration options so you can get the right mix of capabilities the first time.
  2. Is the quote comprehensive? Many vendors will present the lowest upfront cost to win your business and later apply change orders for AV installation and other ancillary costs. The only way to accurately compare simulation systems based on price is to make sure those prices include all desired features, installation, maintenance, and other support.
  3. Does the simulation software meet your program objectives? It doesn’t matter how cheap your simulation system is—if it doesn’t meet your needs and objectives, you’ve wasted your budget. And not only that, but the success of your simulation program itself could be in danger if you don’t have the right system to support it. If administrators are pressuring you to make budget the key factor in choosing a simulation system, you can help them understand why functionality has to come before price. Even if it costs more upfront, a solution that supports program success will be a better investment in the long-run.

Next Steps

The Level 3 Healthcare team includes designers and technicians with years of experience. That experience means they are prepared to help you choose the simulation system features that will benefit you most in the long run, and they’ll always be upfront about how much it costs. Ready to get started? Get in touch today.

3 Ways Mobile Recording Improves Disaster Preparedness

3 Ways Mobile Recording Improves Disaster Preparedness 2000 1335 Level 3 Healthcare

How Mobile Recording Can Improve Your Disaster Training

If there’s a massive pileup on the freeway and 50 injured patients head to your emergency room, will you be ready to receive and treat them? If an earthquake damages your corporate offices, do you know how to evacuate everyone quickly and safely? If a military helicopter collides with a commercial airliner at your airport, are you prepared to coordinate a multi-agency response?

Just as simulation training has become an integral part of healthcare education, it is increasingly used in disaster preparedness training as well. Realistic and immersive disaster drills help refine processes and help healthcare professionals and other responders learn what it would really be like to respond to a large-scale disaster, whether natural or otherwise. Many hospitals even hire local actors or nursing students to play patients, complete with bloody makeup and torn clothes. But once the adrenaline has faded and the disaster has been dealt with, how do you review what went right, as well as learn from what could have gone better?

“In simulation, using video recording as a tool is invaluable,” said Brandon Phillips, a former EMT and current simulation technology and operation specialist with Level 3 Healthcare. “We can capture an entire event. We can utilize bookmarking and timestamping so we know when specific events occurred within the simulation–either things the team can improve on or that they did really well.”

Mobile recording and video debriefing have been incorporated into many simulation lab environments, the tools are currently underutilized in the disaster preparedness space. Here are three reasons that should change.

3 Reasons Your Disaster Preparedness Program Needs Mobile Recording

  1. Professionals make mistakes—but they might not know it. Even healthcare veterans can be surprised by the procedural mistakes they make and bad habits they’ve developed when they see themselves on camera. “No one likes being recorded, and no one wants to look inferior in front of their peers,” Brandon said. “But people get over it pretty quickly. Everyone has these little nuances to what they do and when they can watch themselves, they can really see what their process is.” Without the benefit of a recording of a real-time disaster response, those errors might never be detected and corrected.
  2. Disaster preparedness takes a team—and teams need to learn to work together. In real disasters, the response can involve multiple agencies including law enforcement, fire departments, search and rescue, emergency responders, and even the military. The benefit of disaster preparedness training is to give all those people a chance to practice working together. In the heat of the moment, everyone’s focus may revert to their own tasks and not the larger picture. A recording of the event gives a comprehensive view of the entire response effort and can help participants from every agency and organization see ways they can improve their collaboration—as well as see ways they worked well together.
  3. Lessons and best practices should be identified and applied immediately. Simply recording a disaster preparedness drill on a couple camera phones doesn’t facilitate immediate debriefing of the exercise. It would take hours—if not days—to sift through multiple streams of video footage to find the relevant teaching moments. Visiting participants may miss out, and if addressed days later, the impact of the simulation and value of the lesson could be gone.

Next Steps

There is a mobile recording and debriefing solution that can maximize the benefits of your disaster simulations. Level 3 Healthcare’s SIMStation Essential is the first-ever mobile high-end video-debriefing system. The solution:

  • Supports up to three cameras, two fixed and one point-to-zoom with a 30x optical zoom capability. Together these cameras—each connected to a provided ethernet cord that stretches 300 feet—can easily cover your entire simulation area, whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Features timestamping and bookmarking capabilities that allow you to easily flag parts of the simulation you want to come back to during debriefing.
  • Includes SIMStation recording and debriefing software, which can be run from a laptop or tablet.
  • Features a high-quality interface microphone to ensure the best recording quality.
  • Expands and is available in a pro version that supports an unlimited number of cameras and includes higher-resolution video. You can also opt for add-ons like a media screen so simulation participants can receive and view x-rays, lab results, or live updates from the CDC as part of the exercise.

All the Essential components fit into a 3×2-foot case, making it highly portable.

“It’s something the whole disaster preparedness community is missing out on,” said Brandon. “Having our system would be a huge help in getting your staff trained. That solidified learning that we do in simulation is kind of becoming the gold standard in terms of healthcare and learning, and our system is really great to aid with that.”

Ready to lead the way in disaster preparedness training with SIMStation Essential? Get in touch for a demo or more information today.

4 Things to Look for in a Healthcare Simulation Partner

4 Things to Look for in a Healthcare Simulation Partner 480 360 Level 3 Healthcare

4 Things to Look for in a Healthcare Simulation Partner

Creating a functioning, respected healthcare simulation program can be a daunting task. Technology is an increasingly important part of healthcare education, but when planning a simulation lab, you’re doing more than just outfitting a building with cameras and manikins—you’re planning to meet quality, compliance, and educational standards for years to come.

A successful healthcare simulation lab will require complex technologies that must be expertly integrated. Fortunately, the right technology partner can ease the burden and help you strategize for success. However, it can be challenging to find the right technology company to help you with your healthcare simulation system. Here is what you should look for when evaluating technology integration partners:

  1. Experience in healthcare simulation.

    Ask the simulation technology professional how long they have been working in healthcare simulation, how many projects they do, and whether they have case studies, testimonials, examples, and references you can contact. Find out if they have experience in your lab’s area of specialization.
    Look for AV integration specialists who have had hands-on experience designing, implementing, and managing technology for healthcare simulation. Also ask what else they can do for you. An experienced technology specialist will know about features or services you may not even know you need.

  2. Knowledge of healthcare simulation.

    Beyond the integration aspect, look for a partner that is familiar with simulation education best practices. Technology professionals should understand the goals of both educators and students in using simulation. Those who don’t understand what goes on during a simulation, in the recording room, or in the debriefing room, won’t be able to make recommendations or configure solutions to optimize ease of use

  3. Expertise in all phases of the technology process.

    From planning to implementing and testing to supporting and managing, a technology partner should be willing and able to help at any point you need them. Look for a partner that is able to help with proposals and funding requests and that can ultimately monitor the solutions 24/7.

  4. Focus on customer satisfaction.

    The right technology partner will want to do more than just get the job done and move on. They are willing to answer all of your questions, address concerns, and help create a technology blueprint to guide future technology plans.

Next Steps

Building a new healthcare simulation facility requires a lot of planning and input from various stakeholders. If you want to know more about the phases of planning a healthcare simulation facility, download this white paper.

Download the Facility Planning & Audiovisual Technology White Paper

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Simulation Technology?

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Simulation Technology? 2000 1226 Level 3 Healthcare

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Simulation Technology?

Just as medicine continues to advance, healthcare simulation—and the standards that govern it—are also evolving. It’s important that healthcare organizations keep up, but how do you know when and what parts of your simulation technology should be upgraded?

How to Tell It’s Time for Something New

Before you can decide how extensive of an upgrade your existing simulation AV requires, you need to know how to identify if and when an upgrade is required. Here are some symptoms of an aging or ailing simulation system:

  1. Users wish it did more. Faculty, staff, administrators, and other users should continually evaluate the simulation system and make note of features and tools that don’t meet their needs or expectations. Your audiovisual (AV) system provider or integrator might be able to address some of them. The rest will be critical data points when designing the next iteration of your simulation system.
  2. You plan to scale. There are two components to successful scalability. The first is whether your current system can grow with your program as it expands and evolves. For example, your current AV capabilities may not support your plans to expand. The second component of scalability is whether your existing solutions are compatible with newer technologies. At some point, those older technologies won’t be available for replacement anymore. If you are facing frequent compatibility issues, it’s time for an upgrade.
  3. You have trouble managing and maintaining it. If you don’t have AV experts on staff who can help you maintain and update your simulation solution, consider upgrading to a system that is easier to care for and that offers ongoing management and maintenance.

If you have discovered that you need an upgrade, how do you decide what kind of upgrade you need?

 

Renovation vs. Refresh: Which Do You Need?

A refresh means replacing and upgrading outdated equipment that’s part of your simulation system. Computers usually become obsolete in about five years, and the same is also true of your core AV systems. If your simulation system can support your projected growth but needs new peripherals or components, a simple refresh is enough to bring it up to date.

A renovation not only upgrades components that need to be repaired or replaced, it also expands features and functionalities, enabling your system to be compatible with future growth and needs. A renovation is an investment. Taking shortcuts that don’t address core shortfalls in your simulation system or improve user outcomes will ultimately cost more. To best plan for a renovation, you should: start documenting issues that impact the effectiveness of your program; assess whether or not your system can scale to meet your planned and desired system growth, and; get advice from experts and plan for the long term.

 

Next Steps

Whether you are undertaking a simple refresh or preparing for an extensive simulation renovation, input from AV experts is key to your success. The simulation experts at Level 3 Healthcare are here to help. Schedule a consultation today.

3 Ways to Increase Faculty Buy-In for Simulation

3 Ways to Increase Faculty Buy-In for Simulation 2000 1121 Level 3 Healthcare

3 Ways to Increase Faculty Buy-In for Simulation

Imagine someone sitting you down in the cockpit of an airplane and telling you to figure out how to fly it. Seems ridiculous, right? The technology is so daunting and complex, anyone who isn’t a trained pilot would need a lot of help to figure it out.

Sitting a faculty or staff member down in a simulation lab and telling them to run a scenario would be just as difficult and confusing for them—though probably not as terrifying

Without the proper training, simulation technology can be intimidating for educators. They can’t just sit down and figure it out. When faculty members are unsure of how to use a solution such as a simulation system, they are unlikely to support an organizational investment in it. They are also unlikely to use it even if the organization invests in the technology. However, removing common barriers, concerns, and misunderstandings faculty members face can help you improve buy-in and increase adoption of simulation solutions at your institution or organization.

Why Does Buy-In Matter?

Hospitals, clinics, and universities can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on simulation solutions, so the biggest incentive for increasing faculty buy-in for simulation is to make sure you are spending that money on tools educators want—and are therefore more likely to use. Part of improving buy-in and adoption also means addressing some other challenges simulation facility operators face, including a reluctance on the part of leadership to provide funding for equipment maintenance and upgrades. Another issue is often that there isn’t adequate staffing to run scenarios, troubleshoot issues, and provide training.

How Can You Increase Faculty Buy-In?

There are several steps simulation facilitators can take to increase faculty buy-in and adoption for simulation solutions.

  1. Explain the benefits. Incorporating simulated scenarios into their curriculum takes extra time and effort for faculty members, so they will be more likely to do it if they can see what’s in it for them. Benefits include:
    • A more comprehensive curriculum
    • Improved student performance
    • Easier assessment of student competencies
  2. Offer the necessary training. Faculty members who know how to use simulation technologies are more likely to incorporate simulation scenarios into their curriculum. Training should be offered more than once a year or semester and should include how to write and program a scenario, as well as how to run it. If faculty members understand all the capabilities of your simulation solution, it will be easier for them to develop scenarios that support their course objectives.
  3. Provide adequate support. Even faculty members who have been trained to use simulation solutions will run into problems they don’t know how to fix. If those issues take a long time to resolve, educators and learners will lose valuable time, and they’ll have a negative experience with the solution, making them less likely to want to use it again. Educators will have a better user experience and be more likely to use the simulation system again if you address their technical issues as quickly as possible. 

Next Steps

Level 3 Healthcare has a staff of simulation experts who can answer questions about everything from incorporating AV technology into medical training to designing a new simulation lab. Contact us today with your questions.