Advancing Simulation Beyond Education
Written on December 15, 2016 by John Vozenilek, MD, FACEP
Simulation in health care has powerful potential. For years, it’s been utilized to educate and train those seeking a career in medicine. It’s also been leveraged as a way to provide insights into latent health system flaws such as communication issues among clinicians or whether a medical facility has all the essential tools it needs to provide the best care possible.
OSF HealthCare, through Jump Simulation and the University of Illinois, is expanding its use of simulation even further by leveraging it to design novel solutions in health care. The idea is to simulate problems discovered throughout the health care system so that engineers and clinicians can observe and brainstorm ways to fix these issues.
Using simulation as a design tool is still fairly new to health care systems around the U.S. But Jump Simulation and U of I have been collaborating on this type of work since the opening of Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, so much so that there are now dedicated labs for these collaborative efforts in the newly minted space within Jump called OSF Innovation.
Four Labs, One Purpose
All four labs are located on the fourth floor of the Jump facility. Two will be dedicated to the ongoing work Jump Sim has established with the University of Illinois’ Colleges of Medicine and Engineering through Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES). The other two rooms are committed to projects in Advanced Imaging and Modeling.
All four assignments pair clinicians and engineers to develop medical education technology that will advance the clinical agenda at OSF. This is part of a larger effort by the University of Illinois re-thinking how it innovates around curriculum.
Two of the projects utilizing innovation lab space were recently awarded a continuation of Jump ARCHES funding. One team of individuals from OSF HealthCare, U of I, Illinois Neurological Institute, and Bradley University is creating a device to teach young health care professionals to practice feeling and identifying abnormal muscle behaviors in patients with brain lesions. The goal is to expand training to more than just neurologists so that OSF can increase the number of patients served.
The second development is focused on producing an avatar-based system to communicate with patients at the time of discharge so they fully understand their medical instructions before going home. The system could also be used to train medical students to communicate with patients in a simulated environment. The
ultimate goal of the project led by clinicians and engineers from U of I and OSF is to reduce readmission rates at area hospitals.
The two labs devoted to work in Advanced Imaging and Modeling are leveraging virtual and augmented reality technologies like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to revolutionize how clinicians and radiologists view anatomy and advance how human anatomy is taught to medical students.
Nurture, Validate and Disseminate
The intention of committing space for collaborative work among clinicians and engineers is to support teams with great ideas and provide technical and clinical expertise to advance their projects. Each of the teams selected to use the lab space within Jump will get to do so for up to a year. From there, these ventures can be validated within the simulation space at Jump and throughout the OSF Healthcare System.
Completed projects could eventually find a home within the University of Illinois’ curriculum and disseminated to its various medical campuses. It’s this ongoing collaboration between OSF and U of I that makes Jump Simulation a one-of-a-kind facility.
As the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Simulation at Jump, Dr. Vozenilek provides central coordination and oversight for OSF HealthCare undergraduate, graduate, interdisciplinary, and continuing medical education programs.
Under his direction, OSF HealthCare and University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria has created additional organizational capabilities and infrastructure, building resources for educators who wish to use innovative learning technologies for teaching and assessment.
Dr. Vozenilek is actively involved in the academic programs across traditional departmental boundaries and in clinical practice at OSF. In addition to his role in simulation, Dr. Vozenilek serves as faculty teaching in formal programs in engineering, healthcare quality, and safety.