Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning

Vision for ISL and CISL

The activities of CISL will encompass a very wide variety of applications across many disciplines and domains of health care, and for many different types of personnel. The richness of these endeavors can be categorized across eleven different dimensions, each of which represents a different attribute of simulation.  Six dimensions are particularly important:

  1. The purpose and aims of the simulation activity
Education; Training; Research; Performance Assessment
  2. The unit of participation in the simulation
Individual; Crew; Team; Work Unit; Institution
  3. The experience level (s) of simulation participants
K-12; Lay Adult; Health Prof. Student; Resident; Experienced
  4. The health care domain in which the simulation is applied Primary Care; Medicine/Peds; Imaging; Surgery; Anesth/ICU/EM
  5. The health care discipline(s) of personnel participating in the simulation
Clerk/Asst./Tech; Allied Health; Pharm; Nursing; Medicine
  6. The type of knowledge, skill, attitudes, or behavior addressed in simulation
Conceptual understanding; Technical Skills; Communication; Teamwork

PDF Document Read the entire paper “The Future Vision of Simulation in Health Care” from which this categorization is taken.

In the coming years immersive and simulation-based learning will become increasingly important at Stanford University Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals, as at all major teaching facilities. We foresee ISL techniques as being fully integrated into the curriculum of medical students. They will enliven and enrich the learning of health and human disease and of pathophysiology and pharmacology. ISL experiences will be a critical bridge for students between theoretical knowledge and the actual practices and decisions that caring for patients entails. As students are enmeshed in their clinical rotations, ISL exercises will allow them to fully assume the duties and responsibilities of patient care, as if they were the physicians involved.

This approach will only accelerate for “post-graduate medical education”, namely for interns and residents – physicians who are training in the actual fields of medicine that they will practice. ISL curricula – with intensive training sessions – will enable them to become fully capable with the most serious kinds of situations, even those that occur only rarely. Such experiences will also provide important training in non-technical skills of decision-making, crisis management, leadership, communication, and teamwork.

SUMC and affiliated institutions will use the same techniques to provide life-long learning and practice for individuals, teams, and work units of staff-level personnel. This will involve all disciplines in health care, including physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. ISL exercises will become important components of the ongoing maintenance of competency and quality management of health care institutions that are truly high reliability organizations.

VISION: Simulation will be Embedded in Fabric of Health Care

  • Routine preparation and certification of professionals (ab initio, forever)
  • Ongoing individual/team practice and readiness (everyone, forever)
  • Part of the routine work-week
  • Required for development, testing and certification of drugs and devices
Potential Drivers for Future Adoption of Simulation in Health Care
  • Simulation Community
  • Professions
  • Insurers/risk managers
  • Government local/state/federal
  • Public
Potential "Implementors" of Simulation Activities or Requirements
  • Professional societies
  • Specialty boards
  • Hospitals/networks
  • Professional schools
  • Accreditors (JCAHO)
  • Government - regulators/legislators
  • Simulation organizations
Bottom Line industry in which human lives depend on the skilled performance of responsible operators has waited for unequivocal proof of the benefits of simulation before embracing it... Neither should anesthesiology {Health Care} (Gaba, Anesthesiology 76:491-494, 1992)


"And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind"

-- appearing in various forms
in the Talmud and the Koran

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