Orbis International Releases First Guide for Creating Simulation Training Programs for Eye Care Professionals

Source: Orbis International

On World Sight Day, Orbis International announced the release of its Simulation Center Manual, a new practical implementation guide for training hospitals and teaching institutions looking to create and run their own ophthalmic simulation centers and training programs. Like all Orbis resources, the manual is available free of charge to ensure that eye care professionals in low- and middle-income countries–where the prevalence of vision impairment is four times greater than in high-income regions–can benefit from it.

Just as pilots learn to fly planes through simulation training before taking off from the runway, simulation training in ophthalmology allows eye care teams to build their skills and confidence safely before progressing to real-life surgeries. Simulation training can benefit every member of the eye care team – including doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists – and has been proven to decrease medical complications, improve the quality of patient care and increase cost savings for health facilities, according to Orbis.

Simulation devices–like virtual reality, artificial eyes, and life-like manikins–allow for complex surgical procedures to be broken down into smaller parts, giving eye care professionals the opportunity to practice each step as many times as they need to get it right, something that is not possible with an actual patient. This reduces the learning curve for difficult techniques and accelerates skill acquisition.

“Simulation training is transforming how eye care professionals become masters of their field, and as we equip more institutions with the knowledge to leverage that technology, the ripple effects will be felt far and wide,” Dr. Danny Haddad, Chief of Programs at Orbis International, said in a company news release. “The end goal for all ophthalmic training is a higher quality of care for patients, and simulation training open possibilities for achieving that goal at faster speed, lower cost and with greater results. It is truly a game-changer.”

Experts have predicted that global blindness will triple by the year 2050, but the number of people requiring eye care is already outpacing the number of trained ophthalmologists. The urgent need to increase access to cutting-edge training technologies has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional in-person ophthalmic training has been curtailed by the need for social distancing, forcing teaching institutions to turn toward innovation and technology to ensure eye health professionals can continue to acquire surgical and clinical skills. Simulation training can help fill this gap.

Despite the growing need for ophthalmic simulation training, many training hospitals and teaching institutions have until now lacked guidance on developing simulation training facilities of their own or supporting structured curricula and programs for existing facilities. Further, the price point of cutting-edge innovations like simulation technology have too often kept them out of reach for the eye care professionals who need them most. The manual helps training hospitals and teaching institutions overcome this barrier by providing recommendations that take into account a range of budget constraints and training needs.

The new Simulation Center Manual represents the culmination of Orbis’s experience delivering simulation training to thousands of eye care professionals across several continents and supporting dozens of global partners as they developed and integrated simulation training into their teaching institutions and programs. The manual’s resources include:  

  • Recommendations on equipment, supplies and consumables to procure
  • Structured curricula, schedules, training plans and learning objectives in a range of subspecialties and ophthalmic disciplines
  • Assessment tools, quizzes and rubrics
  • Debriefing tools for structured feedback
  • Recommendations on management and staffing of a simulation center
  • Introduction to blended-learning, innovation and digital resources
  • A list of additional simulation training resources

Orbis is commemorating the release of the manual with a weeklong virtual symposium, “Unlocking the Power of Simulation: A Next-Generation Solution to Training Ophthalmic Professionals,” that will bring together thought leaders, educators and practitioners in the field for engaging discussions, demonstrations, case studies and training sessions. The symposium will run 8:00–10:00 a.m. EDT daily from October 12–16, 2020. Learn more and register here.

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