Developing Simulated Learning Experiences

Picture of Bernadette O'Halloran
by Bernadette O'Halloran - Thursday, January 8, 2015, 4:40 PM

Hello, everyone:

   I would like to get some input on which EHR do you use for simulation. We're in the middle of developing and redesigning our simulation lab and all of the technological needs in the college.  I appreciate your comments....


Bernadette O'Halloran RN, MSN

Assistant Professor

St. Vincent's College

Bridgeport, CT


Picture of Melissa Morris
by Melissa Morris - Saturday, January 10, 2015, 12:40 PM

We are implementing the DocuCare EHR system this semester. I used it for Adult Med surge 1 sims last semester, and am using it for Adult med surge 2 and Foundation in the simulation lab this semester and in the skills lab for foundations, assessment, skills practice, and lab referrals.

So far we are happy with the product, and finding it useful, and similar to what the students are seeing in the community partner hospitals (as per the clinical professors).


Melissa Morris, MSN, RN, CPN

Clinical Mgr HPS and Skills lab -Ft Lauderdale

Nova Southeastern University

College of Nursing

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Picture of Bernadette O'Halloran
by Bernadette O'Halloran - Monday, March 9, 2015, 2:34 PM

Thanks, Melissa.   will look into it as well.


Bernadette O'Halloran RN, MSN
Assistant Professor, Nursing
Rm. 212
(203) 576-6290

St. Vincent's College
2800 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT 06606


Picture of KC Pullen
by KC Pullen - Monday, June 8, 2015, 3:23 PM

Did you evaluate the Lippincott DocuCare yet? Your thoughts, criticisms and suggestions for other Sim Centers in Nursing?

Picture of Bernadette O'Halloran
by Bernadette O'Halloran - Monday, June 8, 2015, 6:03 PM

I am currently looking at DocuCare.  Apparently there is also a way to use a scanner for meds and is compatible with DocuCare... Have you used this feature as well?  Let me know how else you are utilizing this EHR and if you have any other feedback that you can offer...



Picture of Melissa Morris
by Melissa Morris - Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 8:32 AM

We have been using the Lippincott Docucare product for 2 semesters now. We are starting our 3rd semester with the educational EMR. 

The initial semester was bumpy, with resistance from students, faculty and clinical faculty being very high. There is a learning curve on using it, but it is very short once one starts using it. Getting the clinical faculty to use it has been a challenge, they are resistant as providing student feedback it is an activity that is after clinical time and not compensated for (with compensation being a hurdle).

That being said, I have clinical faculty who now are providing feedback consistently and quickly to the students using their phones, and tablets. Once faculty take the 12 minutes to review the webinars provided it becomes pretty easy for them, but again the buy in has been tough.

Students buying the product in a timely manner is also an issue for us even though it is attached to a book, and required to complete the course assignments and objectives. Even with our first nursing course student, they look at the price and buy old texts and only the book even though in A and P and on the website we provide them with information for a more informed choice before buying their tests for the upcoming semester.  

The clinical faculty now, that most are embracing the product are starting to come up with some innovative ideas utilizing the Docucare on their own to bridge identified learning gaps, and that has been interesting to  see unfold. 

There are still limitations to the product; and I can only speak of it as it is used for simulation purposes. It not being live is tedious the first time creating the cases for our simulations. We do simulation with the case unfolding with each group so I create version 'A" for the initial group getting report from the faculty, then I have to anticipate what the students might do and create a version "B" for the next group who gets report from student group "A"; then a version "C" for the student group who gets report from student group "B", etc. Then here and there other version or paths that the simulation may go. Once that was done though, it has worked out very well. 

There are also limitations such as there is no Pre-op check list in the system, and when searching for nursing diagnosis it doesn't match the text books; and the search boxes for orders are worded awkwardly. For example, I enter an order for venipuncture then in the notes have to put CBC. Some common things are missing as well, such as Vital Signs; but they can be entered manually. I prefer not to do this because then the students don't have the ability to utilize the resources built into the system like the procedure and/or drug monograph that are available if you use the pre-loaded terms.

I have hooked up a bar-coder but it does't always work, however, before the bar coder rarely were the rights of medication administration done, now its rare they are not in the simulation setting.

Overall, we like the product, and starting in the Winter of 2016 all our classes will be utilizing it (we gradually implemented it with th last class not using it graduating in December of 2015).

Lippincott has been very supportive and always there to answer questions, and assist with any issues. The customer service has been above and beyond for us. They have also been very open to suggestions and are starting to add enhancements this summer.



Maria Whyte
by Maria Whyte - Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 9:36 AM


I agree...Faculty buy in is the most difficult part of the transition. Mandatory training as early as possible, and then repeating frequently. During repeat sessions, I find new champions who are able to pull new users into using the product. 

Double check your barcoder to make sure it is code 128 compatible.  Many barcoders loose settings and may have to be reprogrammed. in the manual for the barcoder, you will see barcodes to scan for reprograming. 

The other issue I have found is the Print resolution of the labels. I use a Dynamo and copy paste. Too small doesn't work...Too big doesn't work. 

I create the lab tests and link to labsonline  and  NIH

I agree about missing forms. They have build in the ACES scenarios, but the forms recommended to be completed are not in the system. The only place to add old scanned medical records can added is in the diagnostics. 

We are going to try a work around for other forms, creating a Google form and linking in Docucare. 


Picture of Carla Dormeus
by Carla Dormeus - Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 1:52 PM


I had spent over two years reviewing EHR systems that were available for education and specifically for simulation. The features we were looking for where very different than the ones we would need in a real clinical environment. The major challenges we needed to overcome where finding software with the feel of a real EHR but would allow the flexibility to work in "simulated time”. We also wanted to find a system that was user friendly so that faculty and students could be easily trained. We believe that learning a specific software should not take all the time allocated for a simulation exercise; this would frustrate student, faculty, and would defeat the original purpose of a simulation exercise.

In July, 2014, MedAffinity installed its electronic health records software, MedAffinity EHR, on computer workstations in simulation rooms at TCC's Ghazvini Cenetr for Healthcare Education. The first two programs that used MedAffinity EHR during simulations were Nursing and Respiratory care. Because these two programs most readily embraced simulation and wanted to see how this new technology was going to be welcomed by faculty, students and simulation staff. The response we received from faculty and staff was overwhelmingly positive. It took 15 minutes to train them on the basic navigation of the system. Faculty were able to input new "Physician Orders” during the simulations that would automatically populate in the patient's charts for students to access. It gave us so much flexibility to be able to make changes "on the fly” as happens in the hospital setting.


Since the initial implementation, we have been adding new scenarios to the database. This has allowed us to keep all the scenarios we need during the semester readily available to be used at any given time, therefore minimizing the amount of time simulation staff need to spend looking through charts and trying to find the correct scenario. The feedback we have received from the students has been very positive as well. Students liked how user friendly the software is and also they enjoyed being able to experience a real EHR that has been tailored for education. Students no longer carry bits of paper around with orders written on them and so their experience is even more realistic. We believe that the experience the students receive at TCC's simulation Center should be similar to the real world they will encounter as soon as they graduate and join the workforce.

We are currently close to start our third semester using MedAffinity's EHR. The original plan was to implement the nursing program's piece over 4 semesters, but they will complete implementation in three semesters. The features this EHR has that we have found to be most valuable for its usage in education and specifically in simulation are:

1.The EHR interface is organized to allow the entire patient's information to be accessible to the students on a single screen. There is no need to go over tabs and different windows to be able to find the information needed.

2.The system is flexible and allows the creation of templates tailored to your programs or institution. Templates can be created in minutes and can be saved for future use. The system also allows importing PDF files and saving them as templates.

3.Entering notes in the system is as easy as typing a word document.

4.The system allows resetting patient charts at the end of simulation exercises. After the simulation exercise ends, simulation staff can easily reset the patient's chart to the original state.

5.The system generates a patient arm band that can be scanned for patient verification purposes.

6.The medication administration record (MAR) is integrated with a scanner system so that students can administer medications and confirm patient identity.


Implementing MedAffinity's EHR in our simulation center has been one of the smoothest adoptions we have undergone in our center. MedAffinity has enhanced the student's experience by providing them with another tool to make simulated patient care more realistic and a better learning tool. It has also given the simulation staff and faculty the prefect flexible tool to teach students, digitally manage the simulation's library and minimize prep time.




Carla Dormeus

Simulation Program Manager

Tallahassee Community College