This year Healthcare Simulation South Carolina (HSSC) held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s, (SSIH) regional Sim Ops meeting at the Greenville Healthcare Simulation Center on July 21-22, 2016.

Healthcare Simulation South Carolina is a collaborative of healthcare simulation centers throughout South Carolina and is one of 6 research areas of focus in the HSSC statewide collaborative effort. This unit is supervised by Dr. John Schaefer, the Endowed Chair in Patient Simulation Education at the Medical University of South Carolina, who has overall responsibility for patient safety and simulation education across the entire state of South Carolina

In April 2004, the leaders of two of South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems and two of the state’s research universities came together to announce the formation of Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), a unique public-private partnership with a shared vision and a shared plan.

HSSC is the first statewide integration of scientists, clinicians and data systems in the nation. The vision is to improve the quality of life, health, and economic wellbeing of the State through a coordinated strategy of advanced health sciences research and education. HSSC member hospital systems represent more than 50% of hospital beds and discharges, over 60% of nursing students, and approximately 90% of general medical education residents in South Carolina, as well as accreditation oversight of continuing medical education activities. This provides an unparalleled ability to impact the health care of an entire state with a single integrated research and education program.

Health Sciences South Carolina includes Clemson University, Greenville Health System University Medical Center, Palmetto Health, the Medical University of South Carolina, University of South Carolina and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Already the Collaborative is affecting change and achieving results necessary to transform the state’s economy and health status.

The Clinical Education and Patient Safety Center, led by Dr. John Schaefer expanded to become HealthCare Simulation South Carolina in 2010. The collaborative has continued to grow beyond its original members and has branched out to include Alabama and Tennessee through a Department of Labor Boost funded program.

Dr. Schaefer came to South Carolina from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 as a Smart State Endowed Chair, and led the effort to establish a statewide network of simulation centers, collaborating with diverse partners to open or improve centers.  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. 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.

SimOps is the largest regional hands-on healthcare simulation training and education event for simulation operations and technical professionals. SimOps was designed to help improve efficiency, teamwork and communication for the entire healthcare simulation team through the lens of effective and efficient operational management.

This year the two groups came together to hold a two day conference whose theme was Collaborate . Elevate . Inspire.

Three Plenary Speakers: Robert K. “Bob” Armstrong, Jr., Eastern Virginia Medical School, Kit Lavell, EVP Strategic Operations and John Schaefer, III, MD. discussed the theme.

Bob Armstrong’s Elevate:  Tools to Make Your Management More Effective and Efficient, talked about tools they have used in managing their center and ‘lessons learned’ from the Sentara Center , Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia.  Because EVMS is not part of a hospital campus they had some unique challenges.  Bob discussed how technology is being used and some of their lessons learned and how they have incorporated technology to meet their goals.

Kit Lavell’s Collaborate: Improve Team Effectiveness and Collaboration demonstrated through a team exercise with attendee participants, how collaboration is key and how everyone must understand and perform his or her role in a high stakes, stress environment.  He had members of the audience act out an aircraft carrier landing through simulation and showed how important it was for each team member to understand and perform his or her role in a very stressed environment.  The simulation was recorded so the audience could see ‘real time’. Inspire: Why What We Do Matters: John Schaefer, III, MD, Director, Healthcare Simulation of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC discussed the reason he believes in  healthcare simulation and its importance in patient safety.   He told the real-life story of Lewis Blackman, a 15-year-old South Carolina boy, who died as the result of a tragic medical error.  His untimely death set the stage for South Carolina to enact legislation leading to the development and growth of the state’s healthcare simulation movement.  Dr. Schaefer, shared not only Lewis’s story, but shared how medical error had effected each of his family members, his wife, son and daughter and himself and offered why he believes what he is doing is so important in making healthcare safer for patients.

Workshops by leading healthcare providers were conducted in five key areas:

  1. Operational Management
  2. Professional Development 
  3. Scenario Development
  4. Team Development and Communication
  5. Technical Operations
The workshops were sponsored by HSSC and Sim Ops and covered improving decision making, assessment, team training, team STEPPS, and conflict management to highlight a few sessions.

On the second day they had an industry panel and the industry representatives answered a series of questions that attendees had generated through SSIH that ranged from how could simulation centers work more effectively with their IT departments  to how to more effectively express their needs in requirements.  One that caused a very lively debate dealt with open source, open architecture to developing uniform standards. This lead to a discussion that SSIH should establish a consensus committee to discuss the definition of open architecture and what do we need to develop standards and how do we define ‘open architecture,’ open source’.

The day after the conference ended a review course for Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) or Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) was held, sponsored by Sim Ops.

The Sim Ops planning committee included Adam Dodson, Simulation Specialist, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Rob Morgan, MD, MBA, CHSE, Medical Director, Greenville Health Care Simulation Center and Jamie Stiner, CHSOS , Operations Manager, University of California Los Angeles

Simulation Center. They coordinated with the HSSC team and the sessions they had planned to provide a thought provoking conference.