Posted on 10. June 2015 · Posted in BLOG, project info
Startscreen of the SimHand App

Startscreen of the SimHand App

Patient safety concerns call for the need to train medical personnel in simulated settings to reduce cost and patient morbidity. Technological innovations, such as virtual reality simulation and e-learning applications, have led to consistent improvement in learning outcomes, and already play a role in surgical residency training programmes. A potent concept for medical education is interactive learning through ‘serious games’. A serious game is formally defined as an ‘interactive computer application, with or without significant hardware component, that has a challenging goal, is fun to play and engaging, incorporates some scoring mechanism, and supplies the user with skills, knowledge or attitudes useful in reality’. Serious games are designed with primary objectives other than entertainment and therefore clearly differ from conventional video games. They can be played on platforms such as personal computers, smartphones or video game consoles and can apply multimodal interactive content in any virtual environment. They present an ideal playground to engage players in simulated complex decision-making processes like those required in medical training

For 25 years experiential learning has raised great interest amongst medical professionals. Experiential learning includes learning by doing, role-playing and simulation (Cooper & Libby, 1997). In their article on Education in Resuscitation Chamberlain and Hazinski (2001) state that ‘repeated practice in realistic role-playing scenarios with situations and environments students are most likely to encounter’ can increase confidence and the willingness to respond. ‘By participating in simulation scenarios, students can learn to control feelings of panic and their fear of emergency situations (Leigh, 2008). Inspired by this, the SimHand App trains medical handovers using an engaging game with a role-based pattern.

The SimHand App

The SimHand App is a role game developed by the PATIENT Project that provides various handover scenarios that can be explored in an enjoyable manner. The simulation scenarios SimHand provides are typical handover communications with patients or other medical staff.

The game can be played in in two different languages English and German. Like in real handover situations, SimHand involves instant decisions on what to do next and requires the recall of important handover knowledge and checklists. Thus, it can easily be integrated as a part of face-to face handover teaching and training.

Medical students as well as professionals can experience different medical handovers wherever they may be on their mobile. The players can train their mental model for making decisions in critical handover scenarios. In that way they practice their psychological preparedness for different handover situations and receive a more prompt and appropriate response for their decisions.

It is available in the Google Playstore: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.celstec.arlearn2.android.handover&hl=en 

About the Author

Pat Henn