Simulation Operations: Building a Winning Team

Operations. The Daily Flow. The Day-to-Day. The Grind. The Work Week. Whatever you call your schedule, operations are vital to the success of your simulation (and any) program and when things are not flowing according to plan, equipment gets (and stays) broken, faculty, instructors, and students are not happy. Simulation is a team sport and assembling an awesome operations team will make or break your program. So, what are the key elements?

The number one element and characteristic that a simulation team must share is a service leadership mentality. Without a shared vision of being of service and helping others, things can fall apart quickly. Ultimately, there will be times where people become frustrated for whatever reason; equipment will break, politics happen and so on. If your team is consistently willing to help solve problems and assist others, this will move your program forward. It’s very important that the operations team (including management) needs to be on the same page when it comes to being of service to others.

Another key element is having a strong administrative and detailed focused person. This individual will obtain numerous product and supplies quotes, draft schedules, demonstrate outstanding customer service and resolve conflicts with strong personalities (but there are no strong personalities in healthcare, right? *wink wink). The administrative component of your program needs to possess the ability to remain patient and calm, follow up and be highly effective communicators. Depending on the size of your operations, you may want to consider web-based scheduling to free up some administrative and logistics time.

What about the technical element? Is a healthcare background necessary to be a simulation technologist? Perhaps we can discuss this topic in a future post, however, does it take a Master’s degree to operate and fix a patient simulator? No. What is important is to demonstrate service leadership and help solve problems. Of course, the technical person should be keen on how the equipment works, including some general knowledge of information technology.

The most important aspect of the operations team is attitude and the shared vision of being of service. Technology changes, people win the lottery and quit jobs and the list goes on. Clearly demonstrating that the team is there to help will take your simulation program to the next level. After all, people want to be around those who are positive and helping others develop is what simulation is all about.

Cheers,

Matthew

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Simulation: Using Quality Improvement to Increase Patient Safety

Simulation-based Education (SBE) is a wonderful teaching and learning application to increase patient safety, but did you know that it can also be used for quality improvement activities as well?

So, what’s the big deal with quality improvement and why does it matter?  Quality improvement (QI) is used in many industries to decrease variation and there is a huge focus on standardization.  This includes documentation and educational sessions to ensure that everyone is following the same process and approaching situations in the same manner. In previous posts, we mentioned the importance of having certain elements when designing an immersive scenario (feel free to take a look at the post What’s the Plan: The Importance of Design). This is a standardized approach that allows the instructor to design a plan that is consistent.

Being consistent is a key feature in quality improvement activities. If there are several different approaches being used, there is a potential not only for error, but also contributes to waste such as materials, time, etc. Demonstrating a consistent approach to designing a SBE activity helps ensure that clear learning objectives are being met, which helps the learner demonstrate competency and safe patient care. For example, when learning about how to obtain a blood pressure or auscultate heart and lung sounds, there is a clear and distinct order in how to perform the assessments. If healthcare professional #1 decides to talk while listening to heart and lung sounds, it may take longer to obtain clinical findings and they may be inaccurate.  If healthcare professional #2 decides to obtain clinical information without the proper equipment, there will be challenges in understanding the competency of professional #2. Of course, these are hypothetical examples of variance to approaching patient care.

So, how do we decrease variance and improve quality improvement? Try using a checklist with your individual and team care. What’s working and what is the team great at?  Are there some items that you would like to see improvement on? What are they and how will you measure success?

There are many opportunities to use QI activities to improve patient safety.  Whether through implementing them in a SBE experience or in real-time, the benefits to the patient are positive.  And, that’s who this is for.

Have an outstanding week,

Matthew

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About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

Why We Exist: Amoveo Training

When I meet people at networking events and in the community, they ask about Amoveo Training, what it is, what we do, what are the services that we offer and so on. I always end up mentioning the reason why we exist and people reply “Wow, I never thought about that.”

It can be a challenging question when you ask someone about their purpose or why they exist. There are so many ways to think about and reply to this. People exist for many reasons; to explore life, make money, have a family, travel the world, be an astronaut, to be the best in business and the list goes on and on.

One of my mentors once shared with me “Your passion will take you anywhere that you want to go” and I didn’t quite understand what he meant at the time. When it came time to define why Amoveo Training exists, it became clear. For me to exist, means passion and purpose and I don’t believe that you can turn those characteristics off like a simple switch, nor would I ever want to.

I have maintained a passion for simulation-based education and training for about a decade and have never wavered on the importance that it has in training amazing people to deliver people-centred care and contribute to building safe communities. My passion for helping educate, train people and design intelligent systems doesn’t go away. I’ve heard and experienced on numerous occasions how systems failed and people were injured or worse. We hear on the news “If only we were prepared to deal with this…” which can be very saddening and I always think “What if we can create more intelligent systems? What does that mean to people? What does building safer workplaces and communities look like?”

My passion to help people be safe at work so that we all can go home to our families at the end of the day is close to my heart, as I’m sure it is with you as well.

My passion to contribute to communities that want to evolve gives me a rewarding life and a sense of purpose. I believe that we can create more effective education models and experiences that prepare learners to succeed. I believe that we can truly engage and make an impact on learners and change the face of delivering high-quality education. Through this, we can increase patient safety. We can create safer workplaces. We can design more effective systems.

I firmly believe that we can shift the model of employee engagement and retention through meaningful training experiences. Why? Because we need to. People learn from experiences and retain their training. Pencil-and-paper training can only do so much and it’s time to evolve the way we look at education and people development.

What are some of the outcomes? For people, feeling that their employer cares about staff development can be a huge motivator. Happier people means better work and positives work cultures. We spend so much of our lives working, we might as well be happy and safe. Business outcomes include lower injuries, improved employee morale, more effective systems, decreased employee turnover, etc.

On the product development side, I felt an intense need to create skin safe and realistic educational products after witnessing many dangerous alternatives that are out there being used in the name of saving a few dollars. Personally, it was very unsettling to see these quick-fix and unsafe products. We needed to create legitimate solutions that were safe for people to use. Our passion and purpose to design products that are safe, realistic and meet specific needs are the drivers behind every creation that we make. We collaborate on product design with people who are looking to help their teams perform at the next level.

The truth is, passion and purpose are engrained into who Amoveo Training is and why we exist. I’m very thankful that we have been able to make a positive impact on communities. To our clients, thank you for the opportunity to serve you. If why we exist resonates with you, reach out and let’s continue the conversation.

This week, reflect and think about your why. You might discover a renewed sense of passion and purpose.

Stay Amazing,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education and training. He has championed the design, implementation and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

 

Learning From Failure

We spend a lot of time in our lives chasing perfection. The Olympics provide a vivid and tangible example of individuals and teams that practice for sometimes, decades in chasing perfection. When it all comes together, we witness miraculous performances and see athleticism at its finest. What we don’t see are the countless failures. We don’t witness blunders, injuries, less than perfect practices and situations. Athletes and other to performers attribute learning from failures have made them into the success that the general public sees.

In healthcare, individual and systemic failures can have drastic and severe consequences and patients can be unintentionally placed in harm’s way. The use of patient simulators and immersive experiences in a controlled setting have allowed many aspiring and current healthcare increase their technical and soft skills (discussed in previous posts). The opportunity to build on these skills have positively impacted on safer healthcare delivery.

In the controlled setting, learning from failure can have profound impacts on patient safety. In example, a scenario in which the learner must be able to recognize a medication allergy can save someone’s life. By recognizing medication safety as a key practice area and replicating the experience in the simulated setting, learners can benefit. The result, safer patient care.

Does the simulation experience always yield mind-blowing success and performance? No, however, there is the opportunity to learn from failure. There is the opportunity to learn from mistakes.

There are many ways to approach and address failure, however, building people should be at the forefront of the instructor’s mind. Simulation is about developing people. In the lab setting mistakes happen, but this is where it’s okay to make errors. If issues are explored in the controlled environment, there is an opportunity to learn from failures. Debriefing and performance-based feedback can do wonders for learners.

The approach to improvement makes the difference. Have that crucial conversation with learners to understand their frame of mind and explore why a certain action was performed. Learning from failure can actually be a very positive experience. Through coaching and developing learners, it can make a vital difference in the growth of the individual, team and help them be more effective professionals and provide safe, effective patient care.

Being a learner, there are many times where we stumble, feel awkward and sometimes don’t know what to do because of inexperience. Having a true coach can help learners reach amazing heights for when performance really counts; whether at the bedside or systems improvement.

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Have an outstanding week,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca

What’s the Plan? The Importance of Design

Have you ever observed a simulation event and asked what the event plan was? Did you receive a puzzled look and a cocked eyebrow when you asked the question?

Event design is crucial for a successful immersive learning experience and consists of a few elements:

  1. Event Duration, including start and end times. These times need to be accurate. Not only for your learners but consider others who have booked time in the simulation centre and also need resources and support. Poor timing creates an unnecessary backlog and isn’t very professional. Budgeting enough time, including support and technician time, helps ensure that everyone is happy.
  2. Learning Objectives. What’s the purpose of the experience and what should the learner demonstrate? Is an immersive experience the right “tool” for demonstrating a first time IV?
  3. Key Trigger Behaviors. What are the criteria that demonstrates the simulation can progress into the next phase? If the learner has not completed a physical assessment, should they be able to move to the next phase of the simulation?
  4. Timed Milestones and Flow. If it’s an expectation that a final year nursing or medical student should be able to complete an assessment within 0-5 minutes; time and measure it. Then design what happens in minutes 6-10 and so on.
  5. Performance-based observations for debriefing. Were there significant actions or reactions that happened during the event? Was the learner listening or dismissing the patient’s concerns? Make notes of key observations to include in the debriefing for a personalized learning experience.

A well-designed event plan can demonstrate an outstanding experience for learners, educators and support teams. The added benefit for everyone is clarity.

Finally, when we think about quality improvement and how it relates to simulation, consider that what is not recorded cannot be measured.

Looking for simulation program and operational support, including quality improvement? Let’s connect.

Cheers,

Matthew

About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through www.amoveotraining.ca