WHAT DRIVES US: the founders
It’s simple really - we care about people.
We’re nurses. We're doctors. We're medics. We're veterinarians. We’re educators.
We helped shape the paradigm in education as technology was integrated. But over time, we’ve seen the natural attraction to the speed and efficiency technology provides overshadow the equally important personal interaction.
Patient Safety Day is EVERYDAY for us, and should be for you.
A study published out of Northwestern University found caregivers that engaged patients with direct, friendly eye contact with their patients were instantly seen as likable and trustworthy motivating their patients to be more compliant. Another study, this time from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found patients who saw a physician for treatment of a “cold” and felt that doctor was kind and concerned about their symptoms reported that their cold/flu symptoms were resolved a full day earlier than patients who felt their doctor showed no caring about their symptoms. So, can improved communication skills cure the common cold – no. But, could they contribute to a better result when combined with clinical competence - according to these studies, yes.
A CRICO Strategies study indicated communication failures were linked to just under 2000 patient deaths in a five year span and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs. And, a study from the University of California, San Francisco, found more than a quarter of hospital re-admissions could be avoided with better communication among healthcare teams and between providers and patients. In training, as well as in practice, effective interpersonal and team communication should be equal partners with the latest technologies to provide the best treatment and care.
Realistic team interaction practice helps prevent panic, promote appropriate behaviors and coordinated responses among stakeholders, and prioritize mobilizing resources. A look, a tone of voice, a facial expression, a touch - all can communicate competence and caring. Interpersonal communication is critical to establishing the trust necessary between the provider and recipient of care in the healthcare environment.
Increasing the use of standardized participants in clinical simulations can provide high-fidelity clinical simulations and human interaction. They allow participants (student and providers) to try to work together in an environment that is as close to the real thing as possible. This allows people to identify and correct the challenges that can occur as multiple people and perhaps multiple agencies try to coordinate responses in training scenarios/events - large and small.
Clinical simulation scenarios with standardized participants provide some of the most realistic opportunities possible: the ability to look at the patient, speak to the patient, hear the patient, observe the patient’s non-verbal responses, to be heard and seen by the patient.
We believe the skills necessary for effective interpersonal communication can be learned through experience in a clinical simulation with standardized participants. But, the clinical realism of standardized participants needed to be enhanced, providing us with a new frontier in simulation advancement.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” United States Pres. John F. Kennedy
We wished we had tools to better integrate clinical skills with interpersonal communication in a simulation setting. We also wished said tools were cost-effective, had a variety of uses, could be used alone or together and provided measurable outcomes supporting clear competency goals. So, we took action. We designed the product line ReaLifeSim, multiple cost-effective, interactive and integrated devices, registered domestically/internationally with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Lab and field testing was completed in 2016 with sales starting March 2017. VetReaLifeSim was added as a second product line in July 2017.
We are committed to improving patient outcomes by re-introducing interpersonal communication into the competency measurement. Our cost effective, reusable healthcare education simulation products enhance the functional use of existing resources, improve methods to teach and evaluate clinical competencies in students and professionals, promote creation of new programs, and fortify the sustainability of existing programs.