HITS staff participate in “Go-and-See” at the Clinical Simulation Center


In October, Health Information Technology & Services (HITS) staff representing various roles, teams, and divisions participated in a "Go and See" visit to the U-M Clinical Simulation Center, where they met with Center staff, and got to see and experience first-hand some fascinating and innovative learning technologies.

“Go-and-See” opportunities are being sponsored by the HITS Learning & Growth program, and coordinated by a team that includes Jason Engling, Senior Instructional Designer in the Education & Training Division; Nadine Korc, Customer Relations Manager in the Service Management division; and Amy Yamasaki, IT Project Manager in the Research Applications & Advanced Computing division.

Go-and-Sees are designed to support the HITS Strategy goal of “fostering individual career growth through experiential learning” by providing staff with structured opportunities to visit an array of Michigan Medicine units – enabling them become familiar with the variety and complexity of our institution, and providing a deeper appreciation of our diverse clients and their unique IT needs.

The pilot group was welcomed by Center Director James Cook, M.D., Associate Professor of Family Medicine, and of Learning Health Sciences, who gave a brief introduction and provided an overview of the Center’s purpose and scope. Next, the group participated in a tour led by Director of Operations Niles Mayrand, Jr.

Located in UH-North, and funded collaboratively by UMHS, the Medical School, and 12 academic departments, the Center serves more than 10,000 people each year – including physicians, nurses, medical students, and residents. The Center offers specialized learning tools and realistic simulation experiences designed to sharpen skills related to medical examinations, and performing dozens of medical procedures, on different types of patients, and in many different settings.

The Center has a variety of spaces designed to resemble real patient-care environments, including several fully-outfitted emergency room bays, operating rooms, and patient rooms – complete with hospital beds, monitors, and other typical items. They also have numerous simulators that feature realistic, synchronized video output and haptic-response cues that provide unique opportunities for healthcare providers to safely practice complex procedures. The Center also offers a variety of self-directed learning opportunities, including a drop-in Independent Simulation Lab that is available 24/7 for anyone who wishes to brush up on a particular skill before, between, or after busy shift schedules.

Recently, demand for services has created challenges related to space and scheduling. To address this growth, Mayrand says the Center is building a second location in Med Sci. II that, when completed in January 2018, will more than double the amount of space and resources available to Michigan Medicine providers.

During the tour, HITS team members were encouraged to think about and ask questions related to how HITS supports the Center’s mission. For example, HITS team members across multiple divisions work closely with staff in the U-M Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (part of the Department of Learning Health Sciences), and with various vendors, to develop and deliver customized technology solutions designed to meet the Center’s needs.

Go-and-See participants said the visit was a valuable experience, and one that helped them gain a better understanding of the vital role the Clinical Simulation Center plays in enabling Michigan Medicine to deliver the best patient care possible – and how HITS helps to make that possible.

“The clinical simulation center Go-and-See was an outstanding experience,” said Senior Data Architect Helen Fitzgerald. “The simulation technologies are amazingly complex and I now have a better understanding of how well we support our students and providers.”

“Thank you for putting this program together,” said Senior IT Project Manager Rose LaForest. “When your position focuses on technologies that are not typically used by medical students or staff, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the true mission of our jobs.”

Planning for additional Go-and-See visits to other areas across Michigan Medicine is now under way. HITS staff who would like to know more about these opportunities, or would like to participate, should visit the Professional Development section of the HITS Staff Resources website, or send an email to Cindy Priddy.

Clinical, Education, Services & Support