Medical Simulation Corp. announces partnership with USF

- USF Health SimSuite Center at TGH to Enhance Clinical Skills Development -

SimSuite Clinical Education Specialist Stephanie McKown, RN (pointing), prepares a stent evaluation-with-angiogram scenario for, left to right, Dr. Murray Shames, USF vascular surgeon; UM medical student Aurelia Thibbonier; and Dr. Patrick Austin, USF vascular surgery fellow.

Denver, CO, Nov. 10, 2008 — Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) announces a new partnership with the University of South Florida (USF) to provide simulation training and education services for USF Health hospital partners and for local and national health professionals seeking continuing medical education. The MSC SimSuite Education Center is located at Tampa General Hospital, a major teaching affiliate of USF Health.

“MSC is excited to partner with USF Health to offer its hospital affiliate team members and other health professionals new opportunities to enhance their skills in a risk-free environment,” says Bill Younkes, MSC President and CEO. “Our SimSuite Education System provides a broad spectrum of tools to help USF Health advance its commitment to patient safety, high-quality care and excellence in education.”

“At USF Health we are transforming the way we educate the next generation of health professionals and challenging the way we practice healthcare,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, CEO for USF Health and Dean of the College of Medicine.

“The new SimSuite Education Center fits in with our creation of an
innovative curriculum that strives for excellence in clinical skills development, with the goal of promoting patient safety and preventing medical errors,” Dr. Klasko said.

“A wide range of health professionals will have access to all sorts of high-level, virtual reality simulators designed to give them the sensation of touch when working on such skills as intubation, central line placement and endoscopy,” said Deborah Sutherland, PhD, Associate Dean of the nationally prominent USF Health Continuing Professional Development Program. “The training scenarios can mimic the potential unpredictability of patient outcomes as care unfolds.”

Stephanie McKown (photo above) and Dr. Murray Shames (below) inject contrast dye into the kidney arteries of Simantha, a virtual patient simulator that allows distinct experiences for each practitioner based on individual response times, actions and decisions.

“This project demonstrates how our relationship with USF Health can raise the level of health care we provide to residents of this community,” said Sally Houston, MD, chief medical officer for Tampa General. “Young physicians will develop not just clinical dexterity, but also critical thinking skills as they deal with unexpected scenarios that mimic medical complications in the real world.”

The placement of the 2,800-square-foot simulation suite at Tampa General made strategic sense because nearly half of USF’s 650 resident physicians practice there and virtually all residents and medical students rotate through the affiliate hospital at some time in their training, said Peter Fabri, MD, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at USF. “Simulation-based training is intended to transfer knowledge from the educational environment to the clinical workplace. It’s very important for us to work with our hospital partners to develop state-of-the art simulation facilities and equipment so our younger physicians can repeatedly practice using what they’ve learned in a controlled setting – before performing procedures on patients.”

Photo above: Loading a balloon catheter to open a blockage in the left kidney artery. Photo below: The monitor displays the renal angiogram, a test used to examine blood vessels leading to kidneys and evaluate whether the arteries have become narrowed or blocked.

Simulators “absolutely shorten the learning curve” for mastering surgical skills, said Alexander Rosemurgy, MD, Professor of Surgery and Medicine at USF. “In addition to training individuals, the simulators help teach team coordination and emergency protocols. Simulation is a very valuable tool for evaluating how well a surgical team communicates and manages decisions when confronted with an unexpected problem or crisis situation.”

The USF Health SimSuite Education Center offers courses for all levels of healthcare professionals, including medical students, resident physicians, fellows, attending physicians, nurses, therapists and technologists. SimSuite courses provide hands-on training using best demonstrated practices to improve both cognitive decision making and technical skills. Course offerings include ahighly-efficient Advanced Cardiac Life Support recertification program and curriculum for providers working in vascular surgery, cardiology, interventional cardiology and radiology, general surgery; and emergency, critical care and general medicine units.

Simulation is quickly becoming a mainstream teaching tool in endovascular diagnosis and therapy. Simantha, a high-fidelity simulator, is so realistic that physicians can “feel” lesions in blood vessels and the resistance of a catheter. Dr. Shames (below), who directs the Vascular Surgery Residency at USF Health, will use Simantha for training medical students and new physicians.

The SimSuite curriculum features Quality Initiative Programs that are designed to help USF hospital partners meet and exceed national patient safety goals set by several reporting and regulatory organizations. The SimSuite Sepsis, Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia and Central Line Infection and Management Programs focus on early identification and effective treatment of these widely recognized and costly conditions to improve the confidence and competenceTM of all healthcare providers.

Dr. Shames discusses educational value of patient simulation technology.


Stephanie McKown on use of the MSC SimSuite Education Center.


Related story:
Nursing’s Virtual Patients

About USF Health
USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on
understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South
Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of
biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and
the USF Physicians Group. With more than $360 million in research grants and
contracts last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities
and one of 39 community-engaged, four -year public universities designated by
the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more
information, visit

About Medical Simulation Corporation
Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) is the recognized healthcare industry
leader in providing full-service simulation training and education services to
healthcare personnel, medical societies and medical product manufacturers.
MSC’s patient safety solutions are designed to strengthen the competence and
confidence™ of nurses, physicians and technologists. Because real-life clinical
scenarios are simulated, no patients are at risk while healthcare professionals
advance their technical and cognitive skills. For more information about MSC,

- Photos by Eric Younghans
- Video by Jean Rinvil