simulation systems

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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Why Debriefing Is Critical to Simulation Training Success

Why Debriefing Is Critical to Simulation Training Success 2000 1335 Level 3 Healthcare

Debriefing Improves Simulation Education—Here’s How

Have you ever watched a video of yourself and wondered why in the world you were talking so loudly, playing with your hair, or doing something else that you weren’t aware of at the time? Video can reveal a lot of details that get overlooked in the moment.

Simulation training is quickly becoming the most effective way to provide healthcare education, but for best results, you should take it a step further and record then evaluate the training. While simulation scenarios help students practice their skills and prepare for high-pressure, life-and-death stakes in a safe, low-risk environment, the real learning takes place when students and instructors review the scenario afterwards to see what went well and where they can improve.

Does your simulation training program accommodate recording each scenario for the critical debriefing step? Here are three reasons it should.

3 Ways Debriefing Improves Healthcare Simulation Training

  1. Professionals can give better feedback. Recording the scenario and then debriefing it allows an expert to review student performance and provide feedback and expertise they can’t usually offer in the moment. While instructors are usually part of a simulation training, in a high-pressure simulation scenario where everyone is working hard to save a “patient’s” life, there isn’t time to step back and go over the proper way to draw blood or check a heart rate. A recording allows instructors to review details that might have gone unnoticed in the heat of the moment and address or correct them in the less stressful debriefing environment.
  2. Students can see their own mistakes. Human error will never be completely eradicated from medical care, said Brandon Phillips, a former EMT and current simulation technology and operations specialist with Level 3 Healthcare, but effective healthcare simulation training can help minimize mistakes. In addition to the instructor feedback, seeing their own errors can make an even bigger impact on students. Simulation training is the “gold standard” in healthcare education, Brandon said, and debriefing is a critical part of that. Reviewing a recorded simulation can help students see mistakes they didn’t know they were making—and they can correct those mistakes before they impact real-life patient care.
  3. Students can apply lessons right away. A timestamped digital recording of a simulation scenario can be quickly and easily reviewed immediately by instructors and learners together. That means lessons can be applied immediately as well. For example, Brandon said he was once part of a simulation where pediatric nurses were treating a “patient” in respiratory distress. That “patient” went into cardiac arrest and the nurses weren’t able to revive him. An instructor-led debriefing after the scenario helped the nurses see where they could have done better. The very next day, a real-life patient with the same symptoms came to the hospital and those nurses were able to save his life. “Because of the training we did, we were able to save a life,” Brandon said. “That’s the best return on investment right there.”

Next Steps

Level 3 Healthcare’s SIMStation product line offers several user-friendly and affordable solutions for digital recording and effective debriefing of simulation trainings. A Level 3 Healthcare simulation system expert can help you choose the right simulation hardware and software for your budget to help you achieve the best results for your organization and your students. Learn more 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.

3 Budget Hacks for Your High-Fidelity Healthcare Simulation System

3 Budget Hacks for Your High-Fidelity Healthcare Simulation System 2000 1333 Level 3 Healthcare

Simulation Environments for Less

If you’ve ever seen a holiday blockbuster film then you’ve probably been transported to a faraway place—a planet at the outer reaches of a futuristic solar system, backstage at a rock concert, or the front lines of World War II—maybe without even realizing it was happening.

Healthcare simulation labs require a similar suspension of disbelief for students to receive a truly immersive and effective education. There is an ever-growing body of tools that can help accomplish a high-fidelity simulation environment, including manikins, AV technology, and medical devices. But creating a seamless, realistic simulation doesn’t come cheap, and most universities and other training facilities don’t have the same budget as a Hollywood studio.

So, how can you get the tools you need to create a high-fidelity simulation experience, and how do you get them on a budget? Get your popcorn ready and keep reading to find out.

3 Steps to High-Fidelity Simulation on a Budget

There are three steps to take before you make an investment in healthcare simulation technology. Following these recommendations can help save you from unnecessary expenditures, while ensuring you have the tools and technologies you actually need.

  1. Outline the objectives for your lab. You can’t choose the right technology if you haven’t defined how it will be used. Instead of your technology dictating the curriculum, the objectives should justify the technology purchase. For example, if the goal of your lab is to teach non-emergency care, such as reading vitals or placing IVs, you don’t need a $10,000 manikin. Instead you could use real people and display their vital signs on an iPad, or invest in IV arms rather than the entire manikin.
  2. Don’t be distracted by simulation tech trends. Choose solutions you need—versus those with exciting features to save on costs and to ensure your simulation faculty won’t get distracted by the technology. For example, some simulation systems include a voice changer that can make the person speaking sound like someone else. A man can sound like a woman or an adult can sound like a child. Sure, it sounds cool, but think carefully about how much and how often you would use it. If the answer is not often, then the cost outweighs the benefit. In addition, some skills such as hand-washing and gloving, as well as taking temperatures, blood sugar, and other vital signs, are better acquired through manual learning.
  3. Think twice before you choose an all-in-one solution. While in other AV environments, such as a conference room, a packaged solution is usually more cost-effective, the same isn’t necessarily true for simulation systems. An all-in-one simulation solution creates a single point of failure—if one piece of the system goes down the entire solution becomes unusable. In addition, simulation technology is changing so fast that such solutions are at risk of becoming obsolete more quickly. Replacing one outdated piece of a system is much cheaper than replacing an entire solution.

Next Steps

You also want to make sure your installation is cost-efficient but done right. Every simulation solution requires an audiovisual installation, but not many simulation providers have AV expertise. So while a quote may seem cheap, you might have to pay the same amount again—and maybe more—to an AV integration firm. With Level 3 Healthcare you get simulation and AV expertise from the same team, making Level 3’s turnkey simulation solution a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Ready to learn more from our simulation experts about how to effectively choose and operate simulation solutions? Register for our Ultimate Simulation Boot Camp today.

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.

FAQs: Answers to Common Questions about Simulation in Healthcare Education

FAQs: Answers to Common Questions about Simulation in Healthcare Education 1500 1001 Level 3 Healthcare

FAQs: Answers to Common Questions about Simulation in Healthcare Education

Simulated training exercises have been part of medical education for more than 2,000 years. While medical and nursing students once learned their craft using statues with “veins” made of blown glass, today’s medical simulation manikins are sometimes indistinguishable from human patients. Simulation solutions allow students to practice, assess, and perfect their skills—from taking vitals to triage to surgery—with no risk to real patients. Video capture designed for debriefing further enhances the value of simulation education by allowing instructors to address specific actions and results.

If you’re considering implementing a simulation system in your institution or organization, you may have a lot of questions about what will be the right solution for you, and what it will take to operate and maintain it. Michael Young is Level 3’s Healthcare Simulation Technology & Operations Consultant and he has the answers to the most frequently asked questions about simulation in healthcare education.

Q: What capabilities do I need in a simulation solution?

A: A simulation system allows students to carry out real-life scenarios in a controlled, simulated environment. If you’ve ever practiced CPR on a “dummy,” you’ve participated in a simulated learning environment. Simulation training is particularly prevalent in medical training because it allows students in both nursing and medical schools to address life-and-death situations—resuscitation, wound care, triage, surgery, vitals monitoring, emergency care and more—without the pressure of actual life and death. Solutions vary in complexity depending on your specific training needs, and Level 3’s proprietary SimStation application can support a range of system configurations. The most basic simulation offering includes multi-camera support viewable on a single screen with real-time audio. Intermediate solutions may allow data from patient monitors, whether real or virtual, to be captured as a video stream that can be recorded, broadcast, or both. More advanced systems are compatible with training manikins that play the role of a patient during a simulated healthcare scenario. In this application, a simulation audiovisual (AV) system would interface with a manikin by automatically receiving a data stream during a scenario session or immediately upon its completion. Simulated events in the scenario—for example, increasing the respiratory rate of the “patient”—are time-stamped and indexed for later review and debriefing. This functionality comes at increased cost.

 

Q: How will simulation benefit my institution?

A: Teachers and students both benefit from comprehensive, hands-on learning. Educators can move away from lecture-focused, one-sided teaching and instead provide an interactive, learner-focused experience that emphasizes practical skills and address real-time student questions and responses. Students benefit from life-like learning environments that allow them to assess outcomes in a controlled way. For example, a nursing student had a strong emotional response when her actions in a simulation led to the “death” of her “patient.” Experiencing and debriefing such outcomes in a controlled, simulated environment better prepare providers to prevent or manage those outcomes in the real world.

 

Q: What is the cost?

A: The first question on the lips of anyone considering a simulation solution is how much it will cost. The cost largely depends on your organization’s needs and application of the solution. For example, how many rooms are involved in your simulation environment and what type of rooms are they? Will you be following one patient from the emergency room to an exam room to a surgical theater? Or do you need to simultaneously track multiple patients in one large area? How many images do you need to capture per second? In a standard simulation, 30 frames/second is usually sufficient, but for more precise disciplines such as surgery, 60 frames/second in high definition is required. Data collection requirements, storage requirements, software/hardware requirements, and your debriefing process will all impact total cost. Considerations include whether you are recording data from the patient manikin as well as portable monitors measuring vital signs, how long you need to store recordings, etc.

 

Q: Will the solution go on our network?

A: IT departments worry about having additional boxes or devices added to their network to support a large simulation system. A simulation system does require network access, but a dedicated simulation AV network behind its own router or VLAN can prevent a slowdown of the larger network. User-based access to a dedicated simulation network—such as requiring user credentials—can help protect the network. In addition, user-based access to a separate simulation network also addresses HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) compliance requirements.

 

Q: What kind of storage will be required for all that data?

A: Because of compression standards, simulation recording file sizes can vary by as much as 500 percent. The length of the recording and the amount of movement captured in the recording are major factors in determining storage requirements. As a general rule, a recording with four video and audio streams would require a minimum of 100 MG per minute or 6 GB per hour. The length of time you need to retain each recording will also determine storage requirements. While most simulation AV systems record onto a network-connected PC, server, or DVR-type device, removable or external media storage capabilities can be built into a simulation system for growth and scalability. While redundancy of recorded files is recommended initially as a precaution, scheduled culling of duplicate files can prevent unnecessary accumulation that eats up storage space.

 

Q: What will it take to use and maintain a simulation solution?

A: The intended use of your simulation solution will determine the type of system you need and what skills and expertise will be required to operate and maintain it. Possible integration with additional technologies, such as manikins, will further inform your operation and maintenance requirements. Once your solution is installed, hiring an in-house simulation technician is highly recommended for ongoing support and operation—especially if your system will grow more complex. AV system integrators should also coordinate with IT managers and network specialists to ensure synchronization on the software side of the system.

Q: What support services are available?

A: Most experienced and qualified system integrators offer various warranties and maintenance service programs to fit your organization’s specific needs and budget. Even if your integrator is not headquartered nearby, a good partner will train and deploy a local AV service technician to troubleshoot issues and perform routine repairs. Be sure to ask your integrator about what project warranties and extended warranties are available, what they cover, and what other options they provide for maintenance contracts and on-site and other kinds of support.

 

Learn more about implementing simulation solutions here.

Why Integration Matters

Ensuring your simulation solution is properly integrated from the beginning will help maximize your investment and learning outcomes. From system design and installation to security compliance, data storage, and more, a qualified simulation technology integrator can set you and your students up for success.

 

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