Procedural sedation is a routine medical procedure—until something goes wrong. For nurses who assist in this everyday procedure, knowing exactly what to do, automatically, in any situation is critical to patient lives.
For AdventHealth, a large healthcare organization with 52 hospitals in 9 states, the ability to standardize and scale training is critical. As Director of Simulation and Innovative Technologies, Todd Larson’s job is to find new approaches to training team members that will both improve patient care and help the bottom line. His curiosity about virtual reality (VR) led to a pilot Immersive Learning program with Strivr to scale procedural sedation training across AdventHealth, beginning with four large Florida hospitals.
Our area of expertise is healthcare. Strivr’s area of expertise is VR. It was a partnership from the very beginning.Todd Larson, Director of Simulation and Innovative Technologies, AdventHealth
The benefits of Immersive Learning in healthcare
The type of VR training known as Immersive Learning held a few key promises for AdventHealth:
- Consistency in training across facilities — Rather than relying on individual trainers with their own styles and idiosyncrasies, immersive learning could ensure that every learner at AdventHealth is taught the exact same procedure in the same way.
- Practice in a highly realistic but risk-free environment — VR provides a safe and effective way for trainees to practice and improve their surgical skills before performing procedures on real patients.
- Repeatability — VR in a headset grants the ability for learners to repeat specific aspects of training until they reach personal comfort level.
When you’re a large healthcare system and want to scale training, it’s a challenge to deliver consistent training time and time again. We only have so much equipment and so many facilities that can handle simulation. But with Immersive Learning — with just a headset—we can do anything.Todd Larson, Director of Simulation and Innovative Technologies, AdventHealth
After identifying goals and objectives for the VR training pilot, the team jumped into content creation with Strivr to create three distinct training modules for procedural sedation. The modules were filmed in three separate locations within AdventHealth’s facilities, which enabled Larson’s team to get realistic footage in the real environments without impacting day-to-day hospital operations.
Strivr engaged our team members and allowed them to do their jobs, particularly working with our instructional designers—our subject matter experts in each of the areas.Todd Larson, Director of Simulation and Innovative Technologies, AdventHealth
The breadth of data available with Immersive Learning
Part of the reason AdventHealth chose procedural sedation for the Immersive Learning pilot was the ability to measure positive outcomes that couldn’t be captured using traditional learning methods. Todd says, “I don’t know if we would have noticed that detail… but in the VR setting, where we’re getting all of this objective data, it jumped right out at you.”
This information enabled the team to tweak the training, and Strivr went over all of the layers of data with AdventHealth so they could present the findings to leaders of different clinical areas in order to show just how potent Immersive Learning was. “They were taken aback,” says Larson, “not just at the level of engagement, but the level of analytic detail was tremendous.”
There is no way we would have picked up behavioral data of this nature without using a VR platform of this nature.Todd Larson, Director of Simulation and Innovative Technologies, AdventHealth
The aha moment
Larson was thrilled to see Immersive Learning take off quickly: “Our aha moment was during facilitator training. When we put the unit-based educators in the headset, we figured if they bought into it, everybody else would buy into it. And that’s exactly the way it played out. They loved it.”
of RNs felt more prepared for procedural sedation after the VR training
felt more confident in assessing patient condition
felt more confident in administering medication incrementally
Even nurses who had “been around the block a long time” became instant fans. Larson recalls, “We thought the younger nurses would love it, but the older nurses were bigger fans than the younger nurses. Our engagement rate was off the charts.”
For other healthcare companies interested in adopting Immersive Learning to safely and consistently scale training across a large workforce of RNs, other healthcare providers, or staff in general, Larson’s advice is to explicitly define training needs up front. VR training should be applied deliberately where Immersive Learning can really make a difference—not just because it’s cool and new. When applied thoughtfully, though, Immersive Learning is a true game changer for healthcare organizations.