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The Evolving Role of the Digital Doctor in Healthcare Training

Like it or not, the digital doctor is here to stay. In this case, we mean in healthcare training simulations.

For years now, medical training and simulation has been evolving at a tremendous pace. From increasingly realistic hospital scenes to patients with emotional problems, healthcare trainees have the ability to interact in a virtual hospital setting complete with fully-functional versions of the latest medical equipment and digital co-workers ready to test at all levels of interactivity.

But Can the Digital Doctor Deliver ROI?

Yet, for many hospitals and clinics, this highly-flexible technology remains out of reach, often perceived as too expensive or complex to setup and maintain—and representing a time commitment that most staff cannot afford.

For these reasons, many see the overall value and role of training simulations as elusive, with ROI coming only with sophisticated implementations that are costly in time, money and resources and take months or years to put into action. If you’re of that same mindset, read on. The technology has reached a point where it’s more accessible to more hospitals than ever. With lighter software footprints, more automation, faster deployment and lowering costs, we see the role of the digital doctor continuing to develop in importance. As training applications grow in number and scope, you can expect to see areas like the following become workhorse applications for years to come:

  • Finding & Onboarding New Hires

Finding and onboarding good, quality candidates is challenging in the best of times. But when busy schedules meet roomfuls of resumes, the hiring and training process can be strained. Training simulations can play a duel role here. They can serve as an early screening tool to let candidates participate in realistic simulations of scenarios they can expect to encounter on the job, and demonstrate their ability to successfully navigate complex decision-making and prioritization. And, once on board, they can use training scenarios to establish and maintain the skills needed to perform their job at peak levels. This partial automation of the selection and onboarding process translates to considerable time savings and consistent quality in producing prepared staff that are up-to-speed quickly.

  • Decision-Making & Prioritization

Whether new hires or existing healthcare staff, the ability to manage multiple details in a fast-paced, fluid work environment is essential. Training simulations allow healthcare professionals to face complex, critical decisions in a controlled environment that helps determine preparedness for the actual workplace. Crisis management is a leading theme here and will continue to expand into areas beyond the emergency room into more unexpected settings like long-term care and clinics.

  • Developing People Skills

Clinical skills are critical skills for all medical staff, but they’re not the complete picture. Just as important are soft skills like managing confrontational or argumentative patients. How a nurse or doctor responds to aggressive dialogue from a patient can mean the difference between success and failure in properly treating the patient and achieving healthcare goals. Simulating these types of scenarios and mentoring proper patient interaction is a mainstay of training simulations, and one that will continue to strengthen in importance over time.

  • Maintaining Medical Equipment Skills

From checking IV fluids to blood pressure, catheters to CAT scans, training simulations can provide realistic simulations of day-to-day activities requiring interaction with digitized medical equipment of all shapes and sizes. Even complex equipment like x-ray machines and defibrillators can be accurately modeled to properly train and sharpen the skills of medical staff.

  • Ensuring Complete Patient Assessment

Not just focused on individual elements, the more holistic goal of properly assessing a patient or situation is also prime territory for training simulations. Sequencing several checks together and arriving at conclusions and diagnoses is easily handled with training platforms that can represent complex trainee objectives—to be completed in a specific order or any order. Ensuring that trainees catch all of the details is crucial, and something that training systems track easily.

  • Training the Trainer

Don’t forget the day-to-day mentoring that takes place in every hospital and every clinic. Identifying and correcting problem behavior in peers is a key ingredient for anyone overseeing the skillset of other staff. Training scenarios can simulate new employees making poor decisions, cutting corners or not prioritizing issues correctly. Detecting and correcting these issues with regularity are skills that training simulations can help instill and maintain over time.

Training platforms enable healthcare professionals to model ever more increasingly complex and realistic workplace scenarios, affording them a controlled approach to quickly and accurately test and improve their trainees’ skills over time. If your facility has bypassed this technology to date, you should take time to revisit its potential. The time, cost and resource savings, combined with repeatable, configurable, real-world scenarios made easy by today’s sophisticated training platforms ensures that the digital doctor is here to stay.

Thanks for reading. Please share with colleagues who might find value. This post was authored by Discovery Machine, creators of RESITE for Healthcare. RESITE enables healthcare professionals to quickly and easily create realistic training scenarios for their healthcare trainees—complete with digital doctors, nurses, patients, medical equipment, beds, rooms—everything found in a hospital setting. RESITE places trainees into an immersive 3D environment that helps them learn faster and see the cause/effect relationship of their decisions and hands-on interaction in real time. With over 16 years in the industry Discovery Machine delivers powerful, proven technology with a friendly, accessible front-end that translates to successful training programs empowered with intelligent interaction. For more information about RESITE for Healthcare, please visit Discovery Machine online or call 570-601-3226.

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