The Safe Surgery Trainer
By Alion Science and Technology
Skills and Ideas Taught: Our terminal learning objective is: “Facilitate Psychological Safety”. This involves 11 enabling objectives including the use, importance, or techniques of: Communication, CUS (concerned, uncomfortable, safety), Psychological Safety, Clarifying Expectations, Assertive Language, Open-Ended Questions, Fallibility, Inviting Participation, Team Focus, TeamSTEPPS, and Identifying Name/Role. The learning objectives came directly from the medical leadership of the 6 participant hospitals in pursuit of the #1 research goal for all of healthcare. Though players are supposed to be familiar with these concepts, the game provides strong scaffolding, feedback, and tracking throughout.
Goal or Challenge: The project challenge is to demonstrate that we could apply the science of training games to provide a novel solution to the domain of patient safety. The player’s challenge is to use effective communication techniques to navigate challenging scenarios in order to deepen their understanding of patient-safety communication-protocols to help them facilitate a psychologically safe Operating Room. The Safe Surgery Trainer had to be easy to use, require minimal time investment, and make a dent in the #1 Healthcare Research problem (WHO, 2011).
Primary Audience: Perioperative staff who work in the Operating Room (nurses, surgeons, anesthesia, and scrub tech)
Assessment Approach: Player progress is measured against correct behaviors. Players are allowed to make a small number of mistakes on each level, based on the severity of the error, the number of times the content has been taught, and how far they are within the game. Feedback measurement is provided immediately, as well as in collated scores for each perspective, and in total. Our guided discovery approach allows the measurement, feedback, and guidance to be appropriate for each player.
Description: Each year, 98,000 people die as a result of medical errors – the primary culprit being poor communication. The Safe Surgery Trainer is the first patient-safety, training-game, for perioperative teams. The ONR funded team includes Alion, UCF, Synensis, and IDEAS and involved participation from 1 medical school, 3 military branches, and 6 hospitals. Studies on SST show a 32% improvement in knowledge. Further, in free-form responses to vignettes, medical staff demonstrated appropriate safety language 300% more often than the control group. SST provides a novel approach to the World Health Organization’s #1 research priority by generating a significant change in behaviors, in just 30 minutes.
Game Engine: Unity
Operating System: Windows, Web, Android
Platform: Personal Computer
Special Hardware: None