Director’s Corner: FY22 Priorities - VHA SimLEARN
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Director’s Corner: FY22 Priorities

By: Eric Bruns, MBA, Executive Director, SimLEARN

As we look forward to the new fiscal year, we look to new and expanding SimLEARN priorities under DEAN’s Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning (OHIL). The OHIL new areas of growth and transformation for VA wide impact are: (1) Clinical Innovation and Learning, (2) Digital Health Innovation, (3) Data Transformation and (4) Immersive Technology for Enhanced Simulation and Care Delivery. Our SimLEARN Medical Director, Dr. Scott Wiltz will serve as the Executive Sponsor for Clinical Innovation and Learning and I will serve as the Executive Sponsor for Immersive Technology. These four lanes are opportunities for us to reshape and expand the core functions that we provide for VHA. I am excited about the way ahead.

This coming year, SimLEARN is putting High Reliability into action with experiential learning to enhance Workflow Optimization and End-User Experiences related to implementing the Cerner Millennium Electronic Health Records (EHR) across VHA. We are collaborating with leaders in VHA, OIT, Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM), and local facilities to support the efficient, safe, and productive adoption of this new EHR for the enterprise. SimLEARN is leveraging years of experience in workflow assessment and training, teamwork and communication skills building, and vulnerability assessments in activating new processes and activities. By allowing VHA staff the opportunity to “practice like they play,” SimLEARN seeks to provide a safe, realistic simulated environment to ensure that before care is delivered to a Veteran using this new system, that we as an organization have prepared not just until we get it right, but until we cannot get it wrong.

We are also eager to expand the successfully proven concept of Simulation-based Testing VA Design Standards. We are planning for multiple events, creating mock structures of identified space, based on input from Office Construction Facility Management and current designs for Standards Testing. Beginning Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2022, the Standards Testing Phase of CBOC Design will occur at the National Simulation Center in Orlando, FL.  Others suggested for testing quarterly are Invasive procedure area, Inpatient Acute Care Medical/Surgical Patient Care Rooms, and Intensive Care Patient Care Rooms. Priority of projects include capturing significant cost savings that will be realized because designs have been validated for function and safety prior to construction. Veterans and staff will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this innovative project.

As a learning organization focused on high reliability, the Resuscitation Education and Innovation (REdI) Mock Code (RMC) training program equips facilities with the tools and resources needed to identify solutions to improve Veteran outcomes from cardiac arrest. Delivered over a two-day period, the RMC training program uses a standardized approach to establishing a framework for mock code training and implementation.

SimLEARN’s priorities show exciting promise in the year ahead as we continue to set the standard for innovative healthcare solutions with simulation-based clinical capabilities for enterprise-wide impact and value.