Clinical Simulation Research

Preparing for Practice

PAT Exam

The University of Michigan Clinical Simulation Center is an innovative learning lab providing immersive simulation training for physicians, nurses and health care professionals at Michigan Medicine. Our faculty represent multiple departments and specialty practices, giving us a breadth and depth of expertise in development, implementation, and evaluation of simulation technologies for diverse and variable medical applications.

Through the learning health system model, our goal is to integrate clinical simulation research to improve patient care quality, increase operational efficiencies and enhance learning at all levels.

Our research focuses on the exploration of the impact of simulation on patient outcomes, procedural techniques, team management, and other clinical practices. Specific areas of research include:

  • New simulator development
  • Evaluation of high, medium, and low fidelity simulators for task and system level training in medical procedures
  • Development and evaluation of self-directed simulation-based training programs
  • Novel methods used in learner assessment and program evaluation
  • System-level training in medical procedures
  • Virtual reality simulation for clinical practice
  • Impact of simulation-based training on clinical skills and patient safety outcomes
  • Validation of simulation-based assessment tools used to measure physicians’ and clinicians’ knowledge, procedural, and communication skills

Our faculty collaborate with and support other professional schools across campus, as well government institutions, industry partners, and other medical centers across the United States.

Research Highlights

  • Central venous catheter training. Using simulation has now been shown to reduce catheter related bloodstream infections by up to 85% for residents placing these catheters in the intensive care unit with significant reductions seen in similar studies in oncology and the neonatal ICU.
    Result: Evidence for decreased intraoperative complications, postoperative complications and length of stay is emerging for simulation (lap hernia repair, obstetric emergencies and cataract surgery).
  • Laparoscopic surgical training. All surgical house officers are now required to complete a standardized and rigorous laparoscopic training curriculum starting with perfecting lap surgical skills (manipulating, dissecting, suturing, cutting, etc.) in simulation trainers progressing to full virtual reality – haptic laparoscopic training prior to entering the OR.
    Result: This simulation experience has dramatically improved surgical education, surgical performance, and decreased OR time and faculty time in providing training.
  • Obstetrics team training. Using simulation has been mandated for staff, residents and faculty at VVWH to improve team performance, safety and outcomes and is being rolled out to medical teams in UMH and pediatric teams in Mott.
    Result: Studies on simulation-based team training has been shown to improve perinatal morbidity and mortality, reduce litigation and improve team performance.
  • Development of unique simulation products. Tools created include the Michigan Standard Simulation Experience Scale (MiSSES) and the Simulator Value Index (SVI) Tool.
  • Empowering our patients. Simulation-based training focusing on patient and family centered care has helped us to better engage and empower our patients and their families.

We are committed to supporting faculty and staff who are dedicated to simulation-based research. We hope to expand the benefits of simulation by providing annual grants to researchers who explore novel simulation applications to improve patient care. Research recently funded through the Clinical Simulation Center includes a study on emergency airway management and an innovative simulation curriculum to improve resident communication during family-centered rounds.