The Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is recognized in Becker’s Hospital Review list of 34 hospitals and health systems with great simulation and education programs for 2023. The list recognizes programs their cutting-edge technologies, lifelike scenarios and safe environments that builds provider confidence through practical application.
“For us, it’s an honor to be considered in that top cohort of simulation centers in the country. We are one of the largest in the Mid-South, and we’ve been around since 2018,” said Tara Jackson Lemoine, DO, executive director of CHIPS. “Within five years we have made a substantial footprint in the number of individuals that engage in simulation, as students and learners on our campus. We have seen an exponential rise in the collaborative use of our simulation expertise on campus, as simulation becomes a more substantial part of how students in our colleges are educated.”
Additionally, within five years CHIPS has trained 19,410 learners through simulation events. The state-of-the-art facility is a major training site for the university, the only one of its kind in Tennessee, and is committed to improving the quality of health care through education, research, assessments and enhanced clinical skills. The 45,000-square-foot facility provides simulation settings for students and residents in each of the six colleges at UTHSC to train in a safe environment for development in clinical skills and delivering team-based care.
In the three-story building, each floor is dedicated to a different facet of simulation training. The first floor includes skills labs with multiple stations for students to focus on clinical skills and assessments, in addition to a simulated home environment for training students in delivering in-home patient care, and a space dedicated for virtual simulations. The second floor includes a simulated acute-care setting resembling a hospital environment with patient rooms and a variety of manikins that can be used to simulate everything from surgery to labor and delivery. The third floor features the Robert J. Kaplan, MD, Center for Clinical Skills and a simulated community pharmacy. The Kaplan Center houses 24 exam rooms where learners can interact with standardized patients (actors trained to portray patients) to improve their clinical skills including physical examination, medical history taking, and interpersonal communication.
In addition to their recognition by Becker’s Hospital Review, CHIPS recently received a 2023 Innovation Award from Inside Memphis Business magazine and Memphis Magazine. The award honors CHIPS for placing Memphis and Tennessee on the map for delivering cutting-edge simulation training across all health care professions.
The CHIPS team has developed a national and international presence and are recognized as innovators and leaders in the community of health care simulation. The team also provides professional development for clinical providers in the community to help expand training. CHIPS is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and are looking forward to reaccreditation in 2026.
There are many goals the center is looking forward to, including expanding simulation trainings, growing the simulation community of faculty, and engaging the community into the health care professions.
“We look forward to expanding how much simulation we’re able to do within our colleges as we receive additional support and infrastructure resources to meet the needs of the students and community. CHIPS is always working to serve as an educational platform of delivering safe patient care and improving the health of Tennesseans,” Dr. Lemoine said. “We also look forward to doing more innovative simulation projects and more community engagement not only with our clinical health care partners, but in areas of our community where we can highlight simulation to pull more people toward health care careers on our campus.”