Written by on Wednesday June 29th 2011 in Newsletter

How healthy is simulation in healthcare?

In this months newsletter we speak to our Lead for Healthcare, Claire Cordeaux about the future of simulation in Healthcare.

What’s new in Healthcare at SIMUL8?

“It’s a really busy and exciting time for us as we see simulation becoming more widely used in the healthcare sector. I’ve just returned from the INFORMS Healthcare Conference in Montreal, and it was so encouraging to see the level of interest – it’s a huge conference, 13 simultaneous sessions each with 3 presentations, 4 time slots a day = over 150 papers a day on healthcare!”

“We were presenting some research we’ve been working on with the UK NHS, called Productive Ward Sim that uses Lean principles to improve ward processes. I also had the chance to meet up with a few of our healthcare partners who are producing some great work right now with leading healthcare organization Geisinger, and with the Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering at the University of Toronto who have developed a simulation to improve Operating Room efficiency.”

Tell us a little more about Productive Ward Sim?

“Research shows that more than 3 in 4 nurses and therapists on hospital wards believe they don’t spend enough time on patient care and that care and staff satisfaction can suffer as a result.”

Productive Ward Sim is a simulation model that allows nurses to test improvement ideas in a virtual ward environment and produce quantitative results to support decision making. It’s all about putting simulation techniques into the hands of healthcare users – as we all know this can be a challenge. Productive Ward Sim allows nurses to quickly and easily use simulation to prove to managers that investment in change is justified.”

Watch a short video on Productive Ward Sim here

So, what does the future hold for simulation in healthcare?

“The future looks really bright and we’re receiving enquiries from healthcare organizations all over the world looking to improve their processes with simulation.

“Most commonly the problems users want to solve relate to improving the use of operating rooms, emergency department flows, outpatient clinic management and the patient discharge process but we also have people using simulation to improve nursing processes; architects using simulation to support effective spatial planning in healthcare facilities; pharmaceutical and medical device companies are using simulation to demonstrate the impact of new products on patient pathways and increasingly users are experimenting with simulations which explore delivery of effective integrated healthcare across organizational boundaries.”

“Having said all that, we are acutely aware that simulation is far from being a standard in healthcare and those using it may be lone practitioners in their organization who spend as much time selling the concept internally as they do building simulations and deriving the benefits!”

“But that’s why we’re helping to make simulation more visible and accessible to the sector. With new resources like online interactive simulations looking at typical healthcare problems for the health service press, such as the Health Service Journal in the UK, and we will soon be launching a new website aimed at providing a resource for simulation practitioners in healthcare. So watch this space!”

Find out more about SIMUL8 in healthcare at www.scenario-generator.com and www.SIMUL8.com/healthcare