Simulation-based training available to medical professionals at Geisinger Health System

Danville 30 October 2002The first SimSuite Center in the Eastern United States is now open at the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. Developed by Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) of Englewood, Colorado, the high-tech simulation based training system is designed to replicate the process of caring for patients, including simulating a hospital's catheterisation lab. The system is a learning tool with multiple approaches that allows health care teams to review a patient's history, formulate a diagnosis, conduct a simulated interventional procedure, create a post-procedure care plan, and evaluate performance metrics, all without any risk to patients.


"SimSuite Centers are transforming the way doctors train", stated Geisinger Health System's Chief Medical Officer, Bruce Hamory, MD. "The system allows physicians, nurses, technicians, and residents to practise well thought out, as well as rare and routine patient cases that have been replicated through the use of a simulated patient named Simantha. This mannequin has a pulse. She responds to treatment, and she has a vascular structure that feels like a real patient", noted Dr. Hamory.

After a patient briefing and performance of any number of simulated procedures, including very complicated ones, the SimSuite Training System allows health care professionals to create a care plan and review performance metrics to benchmark their skills. "This technology provides health care professionals the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experience without any risk to patients. The SimSuite Training System is more than a simulated procedure. It is unique because it encompasses the entire process of care from the time a patient walks into a hospital, until he or she leaves", concluded Dr. Hamory.

Physicians and others who train in the SimSuite Center at Geisinger can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) units. "We want our physicians to be the best they can be. We believe the SimSuite System will accelerate this objective", added Dr. Hamory.

Recent studies have indicated the significant benefits of simulation and virtual reality training. Additionally, a leading industry group, the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions (SCA&I), believes that simulation training is one of the best ways to keep its members current. "For so many years, there has been a need for innovative, cost-effective training methods for interventional cardiologists", stated Norm Linsky, executive director. "SCA&I believes the SimSuite Centers are in the right place at the right time. Simulation technology is one of the best ways to keep our members current", concluded Mr. Linsky.

"Medical Simulation Corporation's network of SimSuite Centers is expanding throughout the United States. The SimSuite Center at Geisinger is our first Center of several planned to be available on the East Coast during the next year", stated William E. Younkes, president and CEO of Medical Simulation Corporation. "This type of advanced medical training is fast becoming accepted by health care teams, hospital administrators, regulatory agencies, medical societies, and medical device manufacturers. People are recognising the SimSuite Training System's value and that this type of practice poses no risk to patients"," concluded Mr. Younkes.

The SimSuite Center is owned and operated by MSC and is located at Geisinger's Danville campus. The Center will be open to regional physicians. The opening of the SimSuite Center at Geisinger follows the opening earlier in October 2002 of the SimSuite Center at Swedish Heart Institute in Seattle. Initially focused on catheter-based vascular procedures, the SimSuite Training System will eventually accommodate training programmes for interventional neurology and interventional radiology, emergency medicine, orthopaedics, laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures.

Geisinger Medical Center is one of the United States' most modern rural medical centres with 437 beds and more than 260 physicians, many of whom also maintain outpatient offices on campus. The Medical Center is part of the Geisinger Health System, which includes Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Geisinger Health Plan, and more than 40 physicians offices throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Medical Simulation Corporation, based in Englewood, Colorado, and founded in 1998, is known for its proprietary SimSuite Training Systems. These patented tactile, force-feel simulation systems are full-service solutions for health care teams. Providing access to leading health care authors, the SimSuite Center courseware library encourages a "see one, sim one, solve many", learning environment.

Utilising principles pioneered in the aviation industry and with input from its medical advisory board, the company's SimSuite Centers are creating a quantum shift in the way physicians, nurses, and their teams perform new procedures, gain familiarity with rare cases, and increase comfort levels with complex ones. An account of the earlier opening of a SimSuite Center in Seattle is available in the VMW November 2002 article Medical Simulation Corporation opens SimSuite Center at the Swedish Heart Institute.

Leslie Versweyveld

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