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Turn Your Sim Center into a Smart Center and Deliver Better Learning Outcomes

SimCapture holds the key

This is the digital age, and we live in a world increasingly intertwined with technology. From smartphones to smart homes, our daily lives are permeated with devices that not only provide convenience but also collect vast amounts of data. Laerdal’s SimCapture system is in a sense no different. SimCapture makes the practice of simulation convenient, to be sure! But the architecture behind SimCapture also collects an abundance of data—data that can turn your sim center into a smart center and thereby deliver better learning outcomes.

In an action-oriented field like simulation, discussions about data usually take second place to what we all like to talk about, deliberate practice and guided reflection. Simulationists prefer to focus on getting the job done. Crunching numbers afterwards? Not so much. Plus, the specter of collecting and assessing “data” can be intimidating. Do not worry, in this case we think you will find looking at data empowering. In fact, once you become accustomed to exploring the data gathered by SimCapture, we are confident that you will make it part of your everyday efforts to achieve excellence—regardless of your role in simulation.   

What is SimCapture? Break it down for me.

SimCapture is a suite of digital tools that enable you to manage, record, assess and debrief simulation-based training. It is designed to support simulation-based education – onsite and in situ – and help healthcare institutions in their mission to develop competent and confident healthcare providers. ​It can be used with any simulator or a standardized patient. And it serves as a central digital hub or "nerve center" for Laerdal products.

What you see on the surface with SimCapture is its role as a video capture system. SimCapture creates a comprehensive record of what occurs during a simulation including a real-time record of patient vitals and patient responses to each action. Learners and educators play back that record to better understand how each learner’s performance can be improved to maximize competency.

In the background is what you don’t see! SimCapture can collect data not just for one simulation but for all simulations that occur in your organization. The data gathered extends not just to the performance of your learners but to the performance for an entire cohort or multiple cohorts. Whether your goal is improved learning outcomes, operational excellence, or both, SimCapture gathers and reports the data necessary for you to get there.


Find the role you are interested in below

Whether you are using SimCapture now or are considering how to use a digital system like SimCapture in the future, this article will help you better understand how the data accessible through SimCapture is performance gold. In this article, we look at SimCapture through four common vantage points. They include: 


Sim Center Director - a view from the top


We see it repeatedly, Sim Center Directors ask us for greater visibility into how their sim center is being used. Sim Center Directors oversea an enormous investment in simulation assets. And they want to ensure that those assets are being maximized in their effort to meet their organization’s needs.

Alas, gaining a comprehensive view of a sim center’s performance is a challenge without access to some central database. Imagine collecting operational data on a scenario-by-scenario basis and having to compile all that manually. As you read this, you may be in fact doing that now – and not having much confidence in the results as they trickle in from various sources at various times with varied consistency.

Laerdal’s SimCapture system does all the work for you – and for your staff – as a natural result of using the system. Think of SimCapture as a simulation version of a smart home or any smart device you are familiar with. In the foreground SimCapture serves to make simulation tasks more efficient and effective. In the background SimCapture is also gathering data and organizing it for you.

The importance to you of each type of data may vary depending on your goals, your focus, and the operational needs of your sim center. But the fact that SimCapture is literally "capturing" all this data for you with each simulation empowers you to make informed reliable decisions based on real-time data at your fingertips.  Effective data collection and analysis are crucial for continually improving simulation-based education. And, it is necessary for ensuring that learners acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for the competencies expected of them.

Faculty - a view from where the action happens


Faculty are at the center of where the need for reliable convenient data occurs. Faculty are their organization’s face to your learners, and they shoulder the responsibility for each learner’s competency. Equally, they are the face to the Sim Center Director and to their organization’s administration, bearing responsibility for reporting on learner outcomes. If you are a faculty member reading this, collecting and reporting data is likely not high on your list of the "fun" aspects of your job. But it is still likely high on your priority list! It is a job that must get done – a job that ultimately closes the loop on the fine work you have accomplished.

One of the challenges faculty often face is that they lack a uniform means and/or method to record learner performance and results. Another challenge they face occurs in identifying trend items and items worthy of immediate intervention. Laerdal’s SimCapture system takes care of this by providing a uniform repeatable structure for faculty to use when assessing learner skills and competencies.  Meanwhile, SimCapture presents faculty with outcome-based reports that can be used for nearly any purpose. With the time you save, and stress eliminated, collecting and reporting data becomes enjoyable. Seriously!

Among the important advantages that comes through using SimCapture to gather and report on learner data is that it provides transparency. Sim Directors have access to the same data and reports that faculty have access to.  And for faculty, SimCapture solves a host of problems that often make faculty wince when they hear requests for more data, for more reporting...and for more work.  Once you learn the basics of SimCapture – which we can teach you – these problems now become opportunities.

Learners - they need data, too!


Learners want data. And they need it! Top of mind for them as they progress through any simulation are questions like, "Did I do this right?", "Am I ready for real-world patient cases?", “Am I meeting my instructor’s expectations?" A new generation of learners are accustomed to feedback and are adapted to receiving that feedback through digital means (they could likely teach those of us who are more seasoned a thing or two). A sim center turned smart center using an architecture like SimCapture delivers precisely the kind of feedback learners are hoping for.

From a faculty perspective, learners who want feedback can be a bonus. Who would not want learners who are eager to understand and improve their performance? But the need to provide feedback can also present some challenges, not the least of which is the challenge of time and resources. By making self-driven learning possible, SimCapture puts learners in charge and gives them ownership for areas of feedback that do not require in-depth faculty involvement. Learners appreciate this, and you will, too! They will grow through a greater sense of personal accountability. And you will likely find that your discussions with your students become more about "quality versus quantity."

The data available to learners through SimCapture is extensive. And when faculty and instructors make annotations into any simulation record, the data becomes even richer. The data that SimCapture compiles and presents helps learners identify their strengths and areas for improvement, fostering a holistic approach to developing competency and preparing learners for successful clinical practice. This is where the data you can collect through SimCapture is truly gold. Effective use of the data allows students to refine their skills, enhance their clinical judgment, and develop the competencies they need for their future.

Sim Techs - heroes in our midst


Simulation Technologists, Sim Techs, keep everything running. Operationally, they represent the force that turns concept into reality in your sim center. If you are reading this as a Sim Tech, we understand that among the concerns that keep you up at night are smooth functioning, optimal resource utilization, and the overall success of your organization’s simulation-based training.

In the context of making your sim center a smart center, Sim Techs stand to wield the data available through Sim Capture in ways that others may never see – in ways that make Sim Techs the operational heroes that they are. Sim Techs keep their sim centers mission effective. In their capacity, they need to see every operational factor that can equate to peak performance. SimCapture delivers that.

The data available to Sim Techs through SimCapture comes as natural result of scheduling and managing simulations through the program. And while SimCapture can support any simulator or standardized patient, the full advantages come when SimCapture is used in concert with other Laerdal equipment. Sim Techs know that effective management and analysis of operational data is crucial to optimizing resource allocation, maintaining equipment reliability, and ensuring that simulation center operations align with educational and accreditation requirements. They also know how the use of this data aids in continuously improving the quality of simulation-based training experiences.

Before closing - do you want to become an accredited simulation program?

Regardless of what role you may have in your simulation program - be it as a Sim Center Director, Faculty Member, or Sim Tech - you may have considered seeking accreditation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSIH). Or perhaps you have considered endorsement through the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL). Or perhaps your institution has already achieved this level of status. Either way, SimCapture can give you a distinct edge.

SSIH maintains seven core criteria that are the fundamental structural and operational standards that all SSIH accredited programs must meet. Of these, there are three areas that the data gathered and presented by SimCapture can support. They are Program Management, Resource Management, and Continuous Improvement. Used effectively, the data gleaned through SimCapture can help satisfy much of the SSIH’s needs and lend great credibility to what your program can deliver.

Similarly, INACSL maintains its own list that combined form their Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice™. Operations is one of them. In order to attain INACSL endorsement, INACSL requires that "All simulation-based education programs require systems and infrastructure to support and maintain operations." If you read the standards closely and compare them to system, infrastructure, data gathering and reporting that you can achieve through SimCapture, you will likely find that you have a good case to make!

We hope you strive for SSIH accreditation and INACSL endorsement. Let us know how we can help.

Let us turn your sim center into a smart center

The data available to you through SimCapture is gold. The data and reporting you can glean through SimCapture can lead to improved learning outcomes, operational efficiencies, and certainly better learner experiences. Clinical simulation is not just about the simulator but also about the infrastructure and architecture that makes what you do in your simulation program come alive and produce consistent, repeatable, and measurable results. That is SimCapture in the most fundamental terms. Contact us and watch for other resources that will help you understand how SimCapture can serve you.