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Industry Challenges
January 10, 2023

Medical Errors & How UbiSim Can Help


Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

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Humans make errors. As a result, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is medical mistakes. These grave errors kill approximately 250,000 Americans annually. John Hopkins University did an extensive study on the topic. Some healthcare professionals may be hesitant to report errors for fear of disciplinary action or even losing their jobs, so the numbers may even be higher.Just because medical errors happen does not mean it’s something we have to accept. Read on to hear more about medical mistakes and how UbiSim prepares nurses to make correct and informed decisions and reduce errors.Nurses play a significant role in patient care, so it’s crucial they take steps to reduce errors.

Medical errors

The fight against preventable harm is an ongoing one. According to a study by various medical centers, the main problems are “adverse drug events and improper transfusions, the failure to address normal findings, misdiagnosis, under and overtreatment, surgical injuries and wrong-site surgery, suicides, restraint-related injuries or death, falls, burns, pressure ulcers, mistaken patient identities, and communication issues.”The study also mentions, “The nurse serves as the final backstop before administering a drug, checking the right dose, right drug, and right patient.”

How can nurses prevent medical errors?

According to Nursing Choice, there are a few suggestions nurses can implement to reduce dangerous medical errors.

  1. Practice Good Communication - Nurses must be able to actively listen, communicate through words and body language, and be able to succeed at written documentation.  
  2. Clarify Orders - It can be challenging to bring questions up to physicians, but if it prevents an error, the additional communication is worth it.
  3. Use Evidence-Based Nursing Practices - Keep up with continuing education courses and certifications to keep knowledge fresh.

How UbiSim can help

The cause of medical errors is multifactorial, and UbiSim can address multiple factors by helping train nurses properly through our VR simulations.Communication:

  • Communication is crucial to success in nursing! UbiSim communication with the patient, provider, interprofessional team, and family members is authentic, challenging learners to use their own words and respond appropriately as they would in a clinical setting. (We do not use menu-based communication - many other platforms use a point-and-click drop-down menu). Instead, the learner can intuit what to say, which is great practice.
  • Patients’ family members will be factors in nursing situations. In UbiSim, they’ll ask complex questions (as they do in real life) and bring urgency to a clinical situation.
  • If new provider orders are given during a simulation, learners can practice SBAR communication and can close the loop by reading back new orders to clarify, and prevent mistakes.

Failure to address abnormal findings:

  • In UbiSim, learners practice the 6 cognitive steps of clinical judgment which prepares them for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) and SAFE clinical practice
  • Recognize Cues - Nurses recognize cues to determine what matters most in the healthcare setting.  
  • Analyze Cues - The next step is for learners to analyze the recognized cues and link them to the patient’s clinical presentation.
  • Prioritize Hypotheses - When prioritizing hypotheses, UbiSim learners identify the most likely and the most serious explanations. This prioritization guides the patient’s plan of care.
  • Generate Solutions - In UbiSim, learners are challenged to generate solutions and identify priority interventions.
  • Take Action - UbiSim challenges learners to take actions that address the highest patient priorities.
  • Evaluate Outcomes - Learners can evaluate outcomes and determine if their actions were effective, comparing observations against expected outcomes to determine if the patient is improving or declining. They can also determine if more interventions are needed to address the patient’s needs.  

Safe learning environment:

  • UbiSim scenarios follow The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best Practice (HSSOBP) and best practice standards to encourage/ensure psychological safety, allowing learners to feel comfortable to practice at the edge of their ability where mistakes are likely to occur.


Our intuitive Editor allows faculty/facilitators to create and customize scenarios with learning objectives that focus on safety.

Robust Debriefing:

  • You’ll receive an automated feedback report on the learner’s performance.
  • You’ll have customizable self-guiding questions which encourage reflection on the simulation experience, empowering learners to improve clinical practice moving forward.
At UbiSim, our mission is to make immersive virtual reality practical and useful for nursing education. We aim for our technology to bridge the gap between knowledge and application. Contact us for a free demo today!
Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

As an integral center of UbiSim's content team, Ginelle pens stories on the rapidly changing landscape of VR in nursing simulation. Ginelle is committed to elevating the voices of practicing nurses, nurse educators, and program leaders who are making a difference.

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