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What’s the ROI value of your simulation program?

The use of simulation in healthcare is revolutionizing the way professionals undergo training. However, the brief history of simulation combined with the cost of technology presents challenges in making a case for the value of this type of training.

Surgical Science has 4 tips to help you demonstrate ROI to your healthcare organization, with examples from Dr. James Cooke and Dr. Hulda Einarsdottir.

  1. Focus on how simulation supports an organizational goal

First, think about how your simulation center relates to your organization’s goals. A manager’s job is to invest in programs that provide benefit, these aren’t always measured in dollars and cents, they can include goals such as patient safety and improved patient outcomes. You can make a case for simulation ROI by demonstrating how your simulation program is helping to achieve measurable improvements toward these goals.

  1. Explain how simulation solves an organization problem

A successful strategy to demonstrate simulation value is to identify an organizational problem that can be solved with simulation. Be specific about the problem you want to solve, explain why a timely solution is important, and demonstrate what happens if the problem is not solved.

Dr. Cooke cites a patient safety objective achieved through simulation training at the University of Michigan. “Our goal is getting better care and our focus is on developing a training process that improves the team,” he says. “By using simulation to develop performance improvement, we have the ability to bring students, residents, and surgeons to safe, deliberate competency targets before they interact with patients.”

Our goal is getting better care and our focus is on developing a training process that improves the team.

  1. Be specific about how gains will be measured

Define the ROI value your organization can expect to gain. If simulation training helps to train better surgeons, explain how that improvement will be measured. Design a simulation project based on specific criteria to compare simulation benefits in measurable values such as patient safety, quality of care, or patient satisfaction. These are measurements that will resonate with organizational objectives.

  1. Continually cultivate a support base of advocates

Dr. Einarsdottir recognized the value of cultivating awareness when she of implemented her validated virtual reality LapSim program, “We made our program a household name among our residents but it wasn’t familiar with our attending surgeons, so we thought it would be helpful for them to know whether or not residents had been through our VR curriculum. If they are aware of the skills we teach, and know a resident has completed our program, then they know a resident has these basic skills. Consequently, they can trust a LapSim-trained resident to confidently perform these skills during a procedure.”


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