During 2019 IMSH, Group Editor Marty Kauchak discussed topics of interest to the healthcare simulation and training community with Amar Patel, CAE Healthcare’s CLO. An extract of the interview is provided below.
Amar Patel brings to his Chief Learning Officer position at CAE Healthcare a rich background of community experience, including time in the S&T industry supporting the early life cycle phases of training devices, serving in the fire service/EMS community, holding a position of responsibility at the University of Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute and finally delivering training to healthcare professionals in a university hospital and healthcare system. Patel’s recent trajectory in the community led him to be a presenter on two topics at 2019 IMSH.
Regarding the Leadership Development presentation, Patel explained, “This was about growing the future simulation leader, with a focus on what are the competencies, behaviors and training needed to get from here to another position – to allow the community member to grow in simulation, to be that next leader and help advance the industry.” Indeed, Patel noted this presentation was in response to the observation that all employees want to grow professionally, and the emerging demand for leadership development – which may be as simple as honing leadership traits and knowledge, to being competitive for a specific job with increased responsibility. “This is ‘untouched’ area in the industry and people are screaming for help,” the subject matter expert added.
A solid foundation for advancing professionals to increased positions of responsibility in the community is for the individual to develop roadmaps, educational and competency plans, and leadership pathways to help meet his or her career objectives. More specific, Patel offered the “70-20-10” approach as one way to achieve a goal. For instance, in order to achieve an objective, 70 percent of the effort may be job related, 20 percent of the time may require formal interaction and 10 percent of the requirement could be met by formal education. “We’re focused on the individual,” Patel emphasized, adding, “helping them get from point x to y.”
Coaching is also a foundation of leadership development, but with a twist. Whereas one common coaching stereotype is the proactive, “on the field” coach, Patel’s Leadership Development model calls for a multi-dimensional strategy – with the coach being a motivator, driver and even change agent, helping the individual see what he or she may not be cognizant of. “They are there to help you along and not answer your questions – they don’t tell you the solution, but to fix the problem and then guide you,” Patel added.
Patel was also delivering a second presentation – on cross-linking simulation and training in civil aviation with healthcare. Of significance, CAE, as a major force in the global aviation sector, is also addressing why aviation has been successful in reducing its accident and fatality rates, and inquiring how the healthcare sector can similarly improve its patient safety ratings.
Asked about the impediments to the healthcare sector improving patient safety, Patel responded, “The bigger gaps are the lack of transparency in healthcare. When we make an error, we aren’t willing to disclose or admit to it.” And there is materiel interoperability, whereby healthcare community training devices don’t communicate with each other well – a different construct than may be found in airline training organizations’ training device bays.
Patel also called attention to big data. While the 24/7 news cycle typically elevates civil sector incidents to the attention of broad audiences, it is not so with most errors and similar mishaps in the veiled confines of healthcare facilities. Further, CAE and other members of the civil aviation enterprise are stepping up the use of big data to improve the quality of individual and crew training – for example, allowing instructors to detect and closely review learning audience performance trends in simulators and other training devices. “The healthcare sector is very, very protective of private information. One may never know about an error, or when someone gets hurt – so the big difference is transparency. Think about if a simulation program was able to share the work it was doing to create a proactive template for wider risk mitigation and response,” Patel reflected. Noting that patient-safety related incidents are now the third leading cause of death in the US, he concluded, “Shouldn’t we be changing that direction? Whereas in civil aviation, those trends are going the other way.”