Judith Riess reports from the fourth HCSSC Annual Symposium.

In February 2006, Dr. John Schaefer was recruited from the University of Pittsburgh as a SmartState Endowed Chair with the goal of establishing a statewide network of collaborating simulation centers. Now called Healthcare Simulation South Carolina, this sophisticated network includes 14 partners.

As a SmartState Endowed Chair, he led the effort to establish a statewide network of simulation centers, collaborating with diverse partners to open or improve centers at the Clemson University College of Nursing, Greenville Health System University Medical Center, Greenville Technical College, MUSC, Palmetto Health, the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, and Trident Technical College.

These SmartState Program-funded simulation centers now provide training for medical, nursing and allied health students, as well as advanced continuing education to hospital employees and physicians and they have added training for First responders, EMS and fire departments. They allow healthcare providers to practice their skills in a controlled, risk-free environment, rather than in an actual patient setting. This innovative training method results in better healthcare outcomes and increased patient safety.

Editor, Judith Riess attended the fourth HCSSC Annual Symposium held at Midlands Technical College Airport Campus, July30-31, 2015. Organizationally HCSSC is divided into two service lines: the Collaborative Partner Services service line and the Collaborative Course and Scenario Development service line. Products and services offered to collaborative partners are based on a proven set of applied educational, operational and financial concepts collectively known as “Practical Simulation” methods. Practical Simulation is defined as the simulation process used (design, infrastructure, operations etc.) that allows large numbers of students to experience individual and group simulation exercises and to allow large numbers of teachers (facilitators) to be able to practically operate and use the wide range of simulator tools with limited technical training. Practical Simulation outlines the components to creating a value-based simulation center that includes quality standards for developing and delivering simulation activities, data collection and reporting and pre-post testing and assessment. Each Practical Simulation component includes steps deliberately designed to economize and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering simulation education.

Dr. Schaefer wrote a series of articles for MEdSim in 2013 describing the components of the two branches of HCSSC and his vision for the future. From attending the annual symposium we feel he has far surpassed his original goals by providing training for over 434,000 healthcare workers and by incorporating the Department of Labor Boost program to include simulation sites in Alabama and North Carolina. To our knowledge HCSSC is the only statewide networked simulation program and it now includes two sites in Alabama and two sites in North Carolina.

The annual symposium gives simulation centers throughout the states the opportunity to share their successes, to support each other and share ideas and for the participants to network with their colleagues across the states.

In the opening session Dr. Schaefer talked about scenarios available on SimStore™ for SimPad®, LLEAP, and Legacy Simulator Instructor Applications! These scenarios are based on the EMT-Basic/EMT Psychomotor Exam Skill Sheets published by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), created by HealthCare Simulation South Carolina (HCSSC), and endorsed by the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE). He also discussed Cooperative Learning Simulation Skills Training. CLSST™, a novel hybrid practical simulation-based methodology that incorporates practical simulation with the concepts of cooperative learning in dyads and deliberate practice to mastery.

HCSSC has now developed 2000 scenarios and 250 sets available for download at the sim store which include those above and also five obstetric sets as well as Fundamentals of Nursing sets and Nursing Medical Surgical set to name a few.

There were a series of Collaborative Partner Videos sharing educational moments and learning experiences from across the network. The Innovations in Simulation panel, moderated by Rob Morgan, MD, Greenville Hospital System highlighted the fact that simulation is a way to look at non cognitive skills to be sure they are ready to care for patients. Aaron Dix discussed Greenville EMS training for out of hospital cardiac arrest (MEdSim, issue5-15). Laura Barrett and Sharon Youkey shared simulation minus the manikin and their use of standardized patients. On the second day Michael Rusnak, Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research and Development, talked about how HCSSC has improved medical and public education through simulation and the value added to the state in jobs, research and commercialization of products.

The 5th Annual Symposium will be hosted by the Greenville Hospital System, July 21-22, 2016.