MOBILE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The University of South Alabama (USA), one of the nation’s premier schools for simulation in health sciences education, has expanded its use of i-Human Patients, Inc.’s (IHP) virtual training platform to further augment its online curricula. The university has already implemented i-Human in its graduate nursing and physician assistant programs, and plans to expand to some undergraduate courses as well. More than 1,400 students will hone their skills on the platform this fall, following a successful summer session in which more than 900 students used the platform.
USA’s simulation program has more than 30,000 simulated student encounters every year, but with one of the largest online nursing schools in the country, the university needed a way to consistently expose its online graduate nursing students to simulations as well. The i-Human platform now allows remote students new opportunities to conduct simulations, hone their diagnostic reasoning, and improve their clinical competencies.
The i-Human platform’s interactive learning environment enriches students’ clinical detective skills and history-taking abilities through interactions with virtual patients, in addition to their reading and online lectures. Educators can incorporate the platform’s hundreds of case scenarios into their curricula to teach or expand upon clinical concepts. USA will use i-Human for classroom instruction, simulated clinical encounters, and assessments of students’ skills.
“Practice makes perfect, and we offer our students a lot of practice,” said Dr. Mike Jacobs, Professor and Director of USA’s Human Simulation Program. “i-Human Patients adds a new dynamic platform to our simulation program, allowing us to offer students a low-stress, low-risk environment to absorb core competencies that they can then replicate with higher levels of confidence and performance in real-world patient encounters.”
The i-Human platform also allows USA to meet growing demand for interprofessional learning and simulation across disciplines. Despite the wealth of common content, finding time and space to conduct simulated patient encounters across different schools remains a challenge. The i-Human platform, available anytime and anywhere, grants students more opportunities to focus on the common content that stretches across all fields of health care, such as taking a health history and accurately reading test results.
“IHP has created a more active learning environment, which is hard to achieve online,” said Dr. Alison Rudd, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Simulation at USA. “Students are seeing patients before they actually see patients. When they engage these virtual patients online, they’re able to apply the concepts they learn from the textbook and through readings as they collect a health history and perform a physical examination.”
“Students improve upon critical talents during patient simulations, and i-Human further strengthens and enhances those skills and competencies anytime and anywhere,” said Norm Wu, CEO of IHP. “USA’s implementation of the i-Human platform shows how virtual simulation complements other forms of simulation and underscores the importance of high-quality, frequent practice for students of all education levels and across all disciplines. i-Human will help USA sharpen students’ assessment skills and critical thinking through virtual encounters that improve patient outcomes in the real world.”
About i-Human Patients, Inc.
i-Human Patients, Inc. develops educational technology for the student and practicing health care professional market, including its flagship i-Human Patients® platform, launched in November 2012. Cloud-based and interactive, the i-Human case player improves cognitive learning outcomes for students using active learning strategies and content developed by almost 100 leading educators.
IHP is collaborating with the Reliance Foundation, an Indian not-for-profit organization that has provided generous support to enhance the i-Human platform and add numerous new simulated patient encounter cases. The partnership aims to provide high-quality virtual health care training to students and clinicians, and equip health care professionals to achieve greater standards of excellence. IHP has also received financial support from the American Medical Association and the National Science Foundation. i-Human Patients, Inc. is based in Sunnyvale, California.
About University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama is a comprehensive, global university that provides students a quality education in business, the liberal arts, education, engineering, computing, the sciences and health care. USA offers 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through its nine colleges and schools, and is ranked Research University/High by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The University of South Alabama annually enrolls more than 16,000 students and has awarded more than 80,000 degrees in its 52-year history. USA is also an economic driver for the central Gulf Coast, with an annual economic impact exceeding $3 billion.
In health care, USA plays a dual role by providing students outstanding medical education through our colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and the region with advanced and innovative care through the USA Physicians Group, USA Medical Center, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. For more information, please visit the University of South Alabama home page, www.southalabama.edu.