Category Archives: VR simulation

How VR Simulations are Designed: An Inside Look into the Authoring Process at OMS

In-game screenshot nursing assistant providing oxygen
In-game screenshot nursing assistant providing oxygen

When you’re in the midst of searching for a VR partner, it’s important to understand how their scenarios are built. Not all VR simulations are created equal, and you’ll likely want the scenarios you use to be grounded in evidence and current best practices. 

At OMS, the sentiment is that there’s a responsibility to create consistently high-quality, evidence-based clinical scenarios – which is why we’re giving you an inside look at how we strive to do just that.

Who creates the scenarios?  

Multiple teams at OMS work together to ideate, build, iterate, and update scenarios. 

The Product Management Team, who are clinicians and experts in simulation, work with clients to figure out what needs to be built, what the learning objectives are, and what the roadmap should look like. 

Then, the Clinical Authoring Team and Simulation Engineers work to make it happen. 

The Clinical Authoring Team is made up of clinicians, simulationists, and educators who have deep knowledge to pull from in order to build robust narratives within scenarios. They work hand-in-hand with the Simulation Engineers, who construct the technical elements of scenarios. 

The clients who partner with OMS to create custom content are involved from the very start. They help to decide the core of the scenario, the learning objectives, the initial specifications, and which guidelines are used to build from. 

How do scenarios get built? 

It all starts with a list of questions: 

  • What is the problem we’re trying to solve? 
  • What are the lessons or skills that learners should take away?
  • Which modalities need to be built-in to meet those objectives?
  • What would be most impactful for the learners completing the scenarios and the patients who will ultimately receive their care? 

As the questions above get answered, a roadmap takes shape, at which point Clinical Authors and Simulation Engineers begin their work on the creation of the environment, character(s), and actions or tasks. 

As construction begins, the authors continuously think about the feedback learners will receive, how that fits into the learning objectives, and how the scenario as a whole fits together to achieve those objectives. 

At the same time, Clinical Authors look at the best practice evidence and implement the most up-to-date guidelines to build realistic, accurate simulations. Because the core of the scenario is based in evidence, the actions learners should take and the feedback they receive is grounded in best practices, as well. 

All the while, there’s a continuous iterative process happening between the Clinical Authors, Simulation Engineers, and, if applicable, clients. Clients who are involved in this process receive regular updates and provide feedback to OMS throughout the creation of a scenario. 

Are scenarios reviewed? 

Yes, any scenario that’s created undergoes a structured, multistep review process that begins with a technical peer review. At this stage, the Quality Assurance team ensures the usability and accessibility of a scenario before it moves on to the next phase, the clinical peer review. 

During the clinical peer review process, the scenario goes through a review with another Clinical Author. Depending on the subject, a subject matter expert may be brought in to consult – scenarios with a focus on diabetes management or mental health are good examples of this.

After the scenario has been approved through both the technical and clinical peer review processes, it moves on to the final review process with other team members to ensure it’s ready for release. 

Following its release, team members conduct regular reviews of best practices and clinical guidelines to ensure scenarios are always up-to-date. Additionally, OMS continues to take feedback from clients and adapt the scenario to fit clients’ needs. 

Becoming your own clinical author

Through the use of the no-code platform, OMS Create, you now have the same freedom and flexibility that the internal authors at OMS have in creating scenarios

Here, you can adapt content, with or without the help of OMS teams, meaning you can become a clinical author, too! 

Make immediate changes to the scenario, like with physiology, medications, or new images, guidelines, or audio. 

VR authoring platform - OMS Create

Changes can be made to feedback and scoring, as well. For example, if you work in a healthcare facility, you may want the guidelines listed in the scenario to reflect your hospital’s policies and procedures. You may also choose to weight feedback differently or create benchmarks for passing a given scenario. If you work in education, you may decide to align feedback with a given competency framework to see where your learners are well-prepared and where there’s room for improvement. 

The knowledgeable and supportive teams that create and manage the OMS scenarios are learner and patient-minded, consistently working to ensure scenarios are true-to-life, engaging, and remain grounded in best practices. 

To learn more about how you can work with OMS to create your own scenarios, set up a time to chat with us here

Interested in trying VR sim? Arrange a free demo with us today.

5 Exciting Updates to OMS in 2023

VR authoring platform - OMS Create

As the new year kicks off, OMS is jumping right in and highlighting all the exciting new things available this year! Here’s a breakdown of what’s new at OMS in 2023:

    1. Competency Mapping and Tracking
    2. Multi-patient Scenarios
    3. Voice Control
    4. Hand Interaction
    5. OMS Create (authoring platform)

1. Competency Mapping and Tracking

Simulation is great for improving clinical competencies, but it can be a challenge to find virtual reality simulations that track progress in a way that aligns with current competency frameworks. 

As a way to supercharge your insights, OMS created Competency Mapping and Tracking, which is now part of OMS feedback and analytics. Available to all our clients since Fall 2022, this allows an administrator or faculty to toggle on the selected framework that reflects your curriculum and goals. 

Once on, educators and learners alike can see progress as it relates to each area of practice in a given framework. With the ability to filter at the group or individual level, by date range, or by scenario, you can get a bird’s eye or granular view of how your cohort is progressing.

For example, if you wanted to see how your learners are advancing towards the NCLEX, you would be able to see data showing how often your learners are taking actions within a scenario that align with each core principle. 

Competency mapping and tracking

Health promotion and maintenance, physiological integrity, psychosocial integrity, and safe and effective care each have their own insights, meaning you can easily view where your learners are doing well and where there’s room for improvement. 

In addition, individuals can get specific with the use of tags in their feedback section. These tags relate to each area of practice in a given framework, and they appear alongside pieces of evidence-based feedback, giving your learners a chance to gauge their progression towards each aspect of the competency framework. 

Take a look at our webinar to see it in action! 

2. Multi-patient Scenarios

With a team composed of clinicians, simulationists and educators, OMS has a deep understanding of the skills required of healthcare professionals in any setting. Clinicians are often called upon to assess and intervene in emerging situations across multiple patients. This requires adept, in-the-moment clinical reasoning and decision making skills to recognize and act on dynamic changes in patient conditions. 

That’s one reason why OMS partnered with the Big 10 Practice-Ready Nursing Initiative to develop scenarios that reflect the reality of managing multiple patients at one time. These simulations require skills like multitasking, delegating, and reprioritizing to provide optimal patient care. 

Over the course of five simulations, learners can increase their caseload from one up to five patients. While some patients will require direct care, others will need to be managed by other means (e.g. over the phone), challenging learners’ clinical reasoning, decision making, and time management skills. Students and practitioners alike can work on clinical competence, care prioritization, and patient and interprofessional communication. 

VR patient with diabetes

Available to the Big 10 now, these simulations are available for wider release from April 2023.

Backed by a grant from the American Nurses Foundation, the initiative to develop multi-patient scenarios was formed to address concerns over preparedness of nursing graduates for today’s healthcare environments, to improve time-to-onboard at new facilities, and to reduce likelihood of burnout and nursing turnover. 

3. Voice Control

Communication skills in healthcare are vital to actively listening to patients and providing quality care. 

In 2022, OMS began to address the need for authentic practice of communication skills by introducing the use of voice control into VR simulations, allowing learners to speak and interact with virtual patients just like in real life. 

In scenarios with a primary focus on communication skills, learners can complete a thorough patient interview – from presenting issue to social situation and everything in between – as well as provide patient education and reassurance.

Through the use of AI, machine learning and natural language processing, what the patient says and how they respond depends on what’s been said already, or how a question has been asked – just as you’d expect when having a conversation in the clinic.

These virtual patients learn over time, meaning they get better at understanding what’s being asked of them – that is to say, as your communication skills improve, so should the understanding of your patient!

Still to come in 2023, certain scenarios will have a more directed focus on the technical elements of delivering information effectively in the clinic. These simulations include skills like rapport-building, information gathering, and shift-to-shift handover reporting.

Additional scenarios will require learners to convey empathy while talking with patients, particularly when delivering bad news, practicing motivational interviewing, or when de-escalating an evolving situation.

In 2023, voice control is being scaled across the OMS platform and will be used in a wide range of scenarios, adding another layer of immersion and complexity to simulations. 

As more and more scenarios incorporate the use of voice control to reflect holistic patient care, learners will need to gather and relay important information while they complete scenarios encompassing a wide array of clinical skills. 

Building communication skills goes beyond one area of healthcare. As it is the responsibility of all healthcare professionals to communicate effectively with other providers, patients, and families, these scenarios can be utilized by allied health professionals, nurses, and physicians alike. 

4. Hand Interaction

Just like practicing speaking with others in the clinic is important for strengthening communication skills, building muscle memory is a vital part of training for effective and efficient procedural skills. 

That’s why OMS has implemented the use of hand interaction in procedural scenarios, allowing learners to repeatedly move through the steps of a procedure using their hands in real time. 

The actions you take determine what you feel. For example, if you grab a urinary catheter, physics-driven systems make it bend and flex just like in real life, and when you insert it vibrotactile elements provide immediate haptic feedback on progress. 

Hand interaction scenarios are available now, with ongoing procedural skills over 2023 including urinary catheterization, PIVC insertion, wound care, CVC care and more…

Over time, hand interaction will be built into existing non-procedural OMS scenarios, creating a more fluid and immersive environment for your learners to navigate. 

The use of voice control and hand interaction is one part of putting it all together, so that you have the ability to call upon whichever interaction type best fits your learning objectives – allowing your learners to safely build confidence, competence, and effectively manage the complexities of the clinic. 

5. OMS Create

VR simulations are not one-size-fits-all, and OMS Create is a new authoring platform that allows you to have more control over the situations your learners will face in scenarios. 

Built for educators, simulationists and simtechs, OMS Create is a no-code platform, allowing you to navigate it and customize as you see fit without the need for a developer or any coding knowledge.

VR authoring platform - OMS Create

OMS Create has the same power that internal authors at OMS use to create scenarios, meaning you’ll have the freedom to build and adapt scenarios just like our authors do. Want to switch environments? Need a specific patient response? Want to change a patient’s skin integrity? 

What if you just want to tweak some settings, adjust vital signs, change labs, rename medications, or switch out imaging? All is possible with OMS Create! 

This flexibility allows you to easily determine the difficulty of a scenario to challenge the learner at their level and to integrate scenarios into your curriculum to align with competency-based standards.

With OMS Create, you can easily build your own scenario from scratch or customize an existing one – it’s all up to you to decide!

There’s so much ahead, not just for OMS but for the use of virtual reality in healthcare education and training in general, and we’re excited to be driving it forward. 

Ready for a demonstration? Get in touch and we’re happy to walk you through OMS and discuss where VR simulations may fit into your goals.

Interested in trying VR sim? Arrange a free demo with us today.