Current funders:  Coronary Flow Trust

Past funders: London Deanery STeLI (Simulation & Technology-enhanced Learning Initiative), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Toshiba Medical Systems

Project summary

Continuing advancements in technical innovations for complex interventional procedures have resulted in rapidly evolving learning landscapes for frontline healthcare staff, primary care settings and patients alike. Underpinned by robust design and strong collaborative links that effectively cross the boundaries between the academic sciences and applied healthcare contexts, the principles of ICCESS have been successfully implemented to develop, model and deliver highly novel and innovative simulation-based approaches for interventional procedures, mainly in cardiovascular specialities with links to anaesthesia.

Cardiology training One of our primary research projects has aimed to enhance cardiology-based training by combining clinical skill development and skill assessment within immersive simulated settings through utilisation of the Distributed Simulation Concept in conjunction with Scenario-Based Assessment. This has involved integrating virtual reality simulators within our portable Distributed Simulation cath-lab suite, with simulated patients and multidisciplinary catheter-laboratory team members to deliver highly complex procedure-based training in safe, immersive simulated environments.

In order to capture the breadth and depth of the challenges that frontline staff may face, we have developed strong collaborative links and engaged closely with renowned leaders in interventional procedures to map learning needs and develop simulation-based learning frameworks and tools accordingly.

Our novel simulation techniques and methodologies for interventional procedures have also been applied in patient engagement settings in order to enhance the patient perspective, and we are working towards translating our novel tools and methodologies to community-based settings, general practitioners and primary care contexts in order to augment current learning requirements.

Project aims

The overall objective of the project has been to understand learning needs and develop and implement novel tools and methodologies for simulation in cardiovascular specialties accordingly. For the training programme, in the interests of upholding patient safety a key focus of the project has been to explore team communication and crisis management within the cath-lab setting, whereby technical and procedural skills are assessed in conjunction with non-technical skills (communication, leadership, team-working and decision-making) in order to explore and investigate the ways in which teams work together to deliver care safely.

Imperial Cardiovascular Simulation Training Programme

iCAST: Imperial Cardiovascular Simulation Training

By engaging collaboratively and conceptualising training and learning needs as part of our research approach, the Imperial Cardiovascular Simulation Training Programme (iCAST) has been developed with a strong behavioral, team-based framework with a comprehensive portfolio of clinical scenarios. It has been successfully piloted, launched and applied to individual specialty trainees and Consultants as well as entire MDT cath-lab teams to provide a solid grounding in clinical knowledge, skills, behavioral processes and communication.

Dr Mark Gunning and his team handling a simulated emergency in a patient with heart disease.

The iCAST framework has been showcased through the delivery of live training at the British Cardiovascular Society and Advanced Cardiovascular Intervention Society conferences with outstanding feedback. Further collaborations with cardiovascular specialty clinical leads at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and commercial partners  are ongoing.

We are now exploring the impact of the simulation training framework on skill development and clinical practice via the inclusion of structured assessment and evaluation techniques and methodologies.

External links

Imperial Cardiology Training Programme (iCAST)

AHSC launch portable Cath Lab showcase

Portable Cath Lab showcased at the British Cardiovascular Society 2015 conference

Toshiba Medical Systems sponsor cardiology training at St Mary's Hospital

Mentice simulators used as part of iCAST cardiology training

Project Team