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Industry Challenges
November 15, 2023

What Makes Virtual Reality in Healthcare Cost Effective?

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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

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Imagine a world where healthcare professionals can perfect their skills, reduce errors, and enhance patient care, all while keeping costs in check. Welcome to the realm of virtual reality (VR) in healthcare—a powerful tool that's turning traditional training paradigms upside down. 

In this blog, we dive deep into the intriguing question: What makes VR in the healthcare market cost-effective? Prepare to uncover the transformative potential and cost-saving secrets of this cutting-edge technology.

The Role of Virtual Reality Training in the Healthcare Industry

In healthcare training, VR technology has proven itself as a versatile tool, offering applications that extend across a wide spectrum of medical disciplines. From surgical simulations that allow surgeons to practice an intricate medical procedure in a risk-free environment to immersive patient interaction scenarios that enable healthcare providers to refine their bedside manner, VR has become a game-changer in medical education and ongoing training.

UbiSim: Leading the Way in VR Training for Nurses

UbiSim is a leading VR simulation training tool built just for nurses! With immersive learning scenarios created and peer-reviewed by nurse educators, nurse trainees can step into a virtual world that enables them to sharpen their skills, practice with room for error, and develop professionally.

Does VR Training Cost Less Than Traditional Methods?

The economics of healthcare training often weigh heavily on the minds of administrators and decision-makers. While there may be a higher initial upfront cost associated with VR healthcare training, such as a subscription fee, a closer look at the long-term perspective reveals a compelling case for its cost-effectiveness. 

When looking at multiple years of use, VR costs less than traditional methods. In a study, the cost after three years of VR training in a hospital was found to be $115.43 per participant, while the cost of live exercises remained fixed at $327.78. 

 

The reason behind this financial advantage lies in the scalability of VR. The larger initial investment in virtual reality can be spread across a large number of trainees and a longer time period with little additional cost. 

In contrast, each live training drill incurs additional expenses that scale with the number of participants, making VR technology a cost-efficient choice, especially when training a large workforce.

UbiSim is even more economical than the study found because it’s already developed and ready to be used! We have a catalog of nurse-authored and peer-reviewed scenarios, a whole section of scenarios by other institutions, and all of them are customizable!

How is VR in Healthcare Scalable? 

Virtual Reality (VR) is scalable in healthcare training due to its one-time investment nature, unlimited repetition of training scenarios, remote accessibility, customization options, and consistent training experiences for all participants. 

VR platforms often offer scalable licensing models and frequent content updates, allowing institutions to expand their training programs easily and keep content relevant. 

The reduced need for physical resources, such as physical training spaces and costly equipment, along with data analytics for tracking trainee progress, further contribute to the scalability of VR in healthcare education, making it a cost-effective and efficient solution for training a large and diverse healthcare workforce.

Benefits of VR in Healthcare Training

Realism and Immersion: Donning a VR headset provides an immersive and realistic training environment that closely mimics real-world scenarios. This immersion helps trainees feel as though they are physically present in the training scenario, leading to a more authentic learning experience.

Customization: VR training modules can be customized to meet the specific needs of different healthcare disciplines. This tailoring ensures that training is relevant and aligns with the skills and competencies required in a particular field.

UbiSim’s VR nursing platform has an Intuitive Editor that enables instructors and simulationists to customize any scenario to meet their exact needs. 

Safe and Controlled Practice: Healthcare professionals can practice complex procedures and techniques in a safe and controlled virtual environment. This allows them to make and learn from mistakes without putting patients at risk.

Repetitive Practice: Using a VR headset allows trainees to repeat procedures and scenarios as many times as needed to gain proficiency. Repetition is essential for skill development and muscle memory, and VR facilitates this without the need for live patients. 

Retention: Repeated practice in VR can help trainees retain information. In a study by the National Training Laboratory, retention rates for VR learning were 75 percent, which was much higher than those for lecture-style learning (5 percent) and reading (10 percent). 

Feedback and Assessment: VR platforms can provide immediate feedback to trainees, allowing them to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. This feedback loop supports continuous learning and skill refinement.

UbiSim tracks every action that a trainee does or does not do with a virtual patient and provides a detailed report at the end of the VR session. This enables a rich debrief for learners to assess their progress. 

Error Reduction: VR training is associated with a significant reduction in errors. Trainees can make and learn from mistakes in a risk-free environment in medical education, ultimately leading to safer and more proficient healthcare providers.

A study found that “VR clinical skills training resulted in a 40% reduction in medical error rates.”

Team Collaboration: VR can simulate team-based health care scenarios, facilitating collaboration and communication among healthcare professionals. This teamwork training can lead to more effective patient care and better patient outcomes.

Regulatory Compliance: VR training in healthcare can ensure that health care professionals receive medical training that complies with industry regulations and meets accreditation standards. 

UbiSim’s immersive VR solution aligns with INACSL’s Healthcare Standards of Best Practice (HSSOBP) and is fully customizable with the Intuitive Editor.

Example of VR Implementation in Healthcare

Boston Children’s Hospital was facing the challenge of getting nurses prepared to assess and support patients with sepsis. Jeff Jacobson, who manages the XR simulation lab, brought UbiSim to BCH a couple of years ago to assist nurse trainees in their orientation to the MSICU department for these scenarios. 

Jeff Jacobson finds that VR is cost-effective. Here’s what he had to say: “VR is an efficient way for people to get more training time because manikin SIMs are expensive.”

Do you have nurses at your healthcare institution that could use immersive VR training? Schedule a demo of UbiSim today. 
Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
Request a Demo
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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