A Simple Low-Cost Method to Integrate Telehealth Interprofessional Team Members During In Situ Simulation

William F. Bond*, Lisa T. Barker, Kimberly L. Cooley, Jessica D. Svendsen, William P. Tillis, Andrew L. Vincent, John A. Vozenilek, Emilie S. Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction With the growth of telehealth, simulation personnel will be called upon to support training that integrates these new technologies and processes. We sought to integrate remote telehealth electronic intensive care unit (eICU) personnel into in situ simulations with rural emergency department (ED) care teams. We describe how we overcame technical challenges of creating shared awareness of the patient's condition and the care team's progress among those executing the simulation, the care team, and the eICU. Methods The objective of the simulations was to introduce telehealth technology and new processes of engaging the eICU via telehealth during sepsis care in 2 rural EDs. Scenario development included experts in sepsis, telehealth, and emergency medicine. We describe the operational systems challenges, alternatives considered, and solutions used. Participants completed surveys on self-confidence presimulation/postsimulation in using telehealth and in managing patients with sepsis (1-10 Likert scale, with 10 "completely confident"). Pre-post responses were compared by two-tailed paired t test. Results We successfully engaged the staff of two EDs: 42 nurses, 9 physicians or advanced practice providers, and 9 technicians (N = 60). We used a shared in situ simulation clinical actions observational checklist, created within an off-the-shelf survey software program, completed during the simulations by an on-site observer, and shared with the eICU team via teleconferencing software, to message and cue eICU nurse engagement. The eICU nurse also participated in debriefing via the telehealth video system with successful simulation engagement. These solutions avoided interfering with real ED or eICU operations. The postsimulation mean ± SD ratings of confidence using telehealth increased from 5.3 ± 2.9 to 8.9 ± 1.1 (Δ3.5, P < 0.05) and in managing patients with sepsis increased from 7.1 ± 2.5 to 8.9 ± 1.1 (Δ1.8, P < 0.05). Conclusions We created shared awareness between remote eICU personnel and in situ simulations in rural EDs via a low-cost method using survey software combined with teleconferencing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • electronic intensive care unit
  • in situ simulation
  • simulation operations
  • telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation


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