SOURCE: Synensis, LLC


January 23, 2015 03:00 ET

Alion Science and Technology, in Conjunction With Synensis, Releases Prototype of Safety Surgery Trainer

Developed for the Office of Naval Research, a Prototype of the Safety Surgery Trainer (SST) Was Released in December 2014, With Clinical Research Studies Expected to Begin in May 2015, and Final Delivery Scheduled for September 2015

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - January 23, 2015) - Alion Science and Technology, with support from Synensis, has developed the first serious game-based trainer for operating room patient safety, which is called Safety Surgery Trainer (SST). The simulation tool, which is currently in prototype, will be deployed by the Office of Naval Research and will enable medical personnel to practice virtual training scenarios designed to improve teamwork skills, cross monitoring, and outcomes.

SST's immersive environment lets participants engage directly with patient safety objectives by experiencing each other's roles (i.e. nurse, surgeon, anesthetist). This will help increase the adoption of patient safety protocols, particularly TeamSTEPPS, which is accepted throughout the military health system.

"Patient safety in the operating room involves everyone on the perioperative team," said Curtis Murphy, Alion project engineer. "So, the Safe Surgery Trainer is designed for all levels of healthcare staff, from the youngest scrub tech to the most-senior anesthesiologist. For SST, simplicity means having a clear interface with bouncing buttons, high contrast, and zero distractions. It also means gameplay that is easy to understand, impossible to become lost, and intuitively human."

SST leverages game design techniques and the science of why games work to promote effective learning. SST is being developed with partners Synensis, University of Central Florida, and IDEAS and includes participants from Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Langley Air Force Hospital, Fort Eustis Health Center, Mary View Hospital, Mary Immaculate Hospital, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

"The results of the initial pilot were pretty impressive," said Dr. Clint Bowers, a design professor at the University of Central Florida who conducted the field study for the product. "We had 144 participants from a diverse population that showed a 26.5% improvement in base knowledge and a 19.9% improvement in transfer. That's particularly encouraging for 15 minutes of game play on a product that was barely in alpha."

Even though emphasizing simplicity involves some tradeoffs, the study's results are impressive. The 81 participants in the first study ranged from ages 18 to 72 with a broad mix of technical aptitude and backgrounds. All of the participants were able to complete the early alpha version in approximately 15 minutes with no help. Participants recorded a 25% increase in base knowledge and a 20% increase in transfer.

"Being able to contribute our expertise to the development of the SST has not only been a rewarding experience for our team, it fulfills our vision of creating learning experiences that truly stick and result in improved performance of healthcare teams," said Stephen Powell, chief executive officer and president of Synensis. "And the initial results of the field research suggest that the SST and the thinking behind it could be the next important innovation in team training."

About Alion

Alion Science and Technology delivers advanced engineering, IT and operational solutions to strengthen national security and drive business results. For customers in defense, civilian government and commercial industries, Alion's engineered solutions support smarter decision-making and enhanced readiness in rapidly-changing environments.

About Synensis

Synensis is committed to helping healthcare organizations worldwide achieve zero preventable harm, and has supported more than 500 hospitals across the world in measuring, analyzing, and improving patient safety and reducing costs. Synensis offers a suite of processes and services that help organizations understand and apply safety culture results by integrating patient safety with both formal and informal learning to reduce preventable harm, improve quality, and increase operating margins.

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