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Tips & Tricks
May 21, 2024

Securing Success with UbiSim: Strategies for Faculty to Champion and Sustain VR Learning 

Author

Kim Workum
RN,BScN,MEd,CHSE,CCNE

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Integrating new technology, such as UbiSim, into academic or healthcare institutions requires strategic planning and stakeholder engagement to ensure successful adoption and maximum utilization.  Whether the institution is large with a dedicated simulation department or small with a single person overseeing the simulation program, achieving widespread acceptance and utilization is crucial for maximizing the benefits. Following these strategies will help ensure extensive adoption of UbiSim.

Engage Stakeholders Early

Focusing on the end users, involve stakeholders as early as possible. Highlight UbiSim as a complement rather than a replacement to reassure stakeholders that traditional and proven methods of teaching are not being discarded but rather enhanced. 

Present the benefits of UbiSim, emphasizing its ability to provide immersive, realistic, and hands-on experiences. Keep detailed records of the research that you engaged in when vetting software solutions and share them. Stakeholders want to see that you have done your homework. What distinguishes UbiSim as an ideal addition to your program? Is it the diverse implementation methods available, such as instructor-led, peer-to-peer, individual, group, on-site, or remote sessions? Perhaps it's the access to scenarios grounded in evidence-based practices. Alternatively, does the appeal lie in the user-friendly editor, enabling straightforward creation of custom simulations? 

Understand your target audience and anticipate any reservations they might express, preparing rebuttals accordingly. For example, a common issue raised is the discomfort that could be experienced with ill-fitting VR headsets. To address this, think about acquiring specialized adjustable head straps for optimal fit and ease. Additionally, conduct orientation sessions to guide users on achieving the best fit.

Emphasizing program integration rather than replacement helps address concerns about barriers to implementation, such as cost, technological challenges, and resistance to change. It suggests a more gradual and manageable approach. By focusing on VR as an enhancement to current methods rather than an all-or-nothing proposition, stakeholders may be more inclined to not resist adoption.

Demonstrate Value and ROI

It's a common misconception that advanced technological solutions like virtual reality (VR) carry a hefty price tag. In scenarios where various programs within an organization vie for financial resources, it's crucial for all stakeholders to recognize that the budgetary allocation for UbiSim did not exhaust the institutional budget. Demonstrate the value and return on investment (ROI) of UbiSim. Demonstrating the expenses associated with traditional simulation setups—including physical space, high-fidelity mannequins and warranties, and the personnel required for operation—against the investment in UbiSim, which offers an extensive selection of settings and patient scenarios, will yield insights into its cost-effectiveness. 

It's important to emphasize that the true value of UbiSim is only actualized when the product is actively utilized. Merely purchasing it and allowing it to sit unused negates the potential benefits and financial returns it could bring. 

Tailor Training and Support

Offer tailored technical training sessions for facilitators and operations staff to ensure they are comfortable using and supporting UbiSim use. Ensuring that each group feels confident in their ability to use and support the platform will increase their buy-in.

Provide training for instructors, including scenario customization, monitoring student progress, and integrating VR simulations into the curriculum. Knowledgeable faculty will be more likely to utilize the software effectively and advocate for its use.

Ensure IT staff understand the infrastructure needs and the support they will receive from UbiSim for smooth implementation. Provide them with contact information to facilitate the integration of UbiSim and address any technical concern​​​s along the way.

Foster a Culture of Innovation

Host open house events for faculty and staff to explore UbiSim firsthand. Allow staff members to borrow a headset to use at their leisure. This firsthand experience is likely to turn them into advocates. The adage "seeing is believing" holds true, and maximizing the number of individuals who try out UbiSim enhances adoption.

Promote a culture of innovation within your institution. Encourage staff to experiment with UbiSim's features and explore new ways to integrate VR simulation into the curriculum. Celebrate successes and share stories of how UbiSim has positively impacted training outcomes and student engagement.

Embed into the Curriculum and Institutional Systems

Ensure UbiSim is not just an add-on but a fully integrated part of the educational program. 

Large Institutions: In larger settings, where the simulation program may involve multiple stakeholders, create a cross-functional steering committee that includes representatives from education, IT, operations, and administration. This committee can oversee the implementation, ensure alignment with institutional goals, and facilitate departmental collaboration.

Small Institutions or Single-Person Programs: In smaller contexts, the individual responsible for the simulation program should seek alliances within the institution to build support. This may involve direct discussions with senior leadership to secure backing and resources, as well as personalized training sessions to demonstrate UbiSim's value to educators and staff.

Measure and Share Success

Implement mechanisms to measure the impact of UbiSim on training outcomes, student satisfaction, and overall program success. Share these results with all stakeholders regularly to reinforce the value of the investment and encourage continued support and engagement.

Use data and feedback collected from UbiSim sessions to continually refine and expand its use. Sharing success stories and outcomes within the institution can help sustain enthusiasm and support for the program.

Visibility can enhance internal buy-in. Showcase the benefits and successes of UbiSim through open houses, presentations at academic conferences, and publications. 

Solicit Feedback and Adapt

Regularly solicit feedback from users—both facilitators and students—to identify areas for improvement and adapt the usage of UbiSim accordingly. Engaging users in the continuous development and refinement of the scenarios can help ensure that the platform remains relevant and effective in meeting their evolving needs.

Leverage UbiSim Community and Support

Take advantage of the community and support offered by UbiSim and its network. Engage with other institutions using UbiSim to share experiences, challenges, and best practices. Utilizing the support and resources provided by UbiSim can help overcome any hurdles and ensure the successful integration and utilization of the platform.

By adopting a strategic and inclusive approach to implementing UbiSim, institutions can not only secure buy-in from key stakeholders but also ensure that this innovative technology is utilized to its maximum potential, enhancing educational outcomes, and preparing healthcare professionals for the challenges of modern-day healthcare.

Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
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Kim Workum
RN,BScN,MEd,CHSE,CCNE

Kim is the Director of Clinical Competence Assessment Centre and Digital Strategies at the College of Nursing University of Manitoba & a UbiSim Partner.

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