NEWS | February 22, 2016

Center for Virtual Care earns reaccreditation from American College of Surgeons

State-of-the-art facilities and equipment, plus curriculum and expertise, lead to UC Davis honors


UC Davis’ Center for Virtual Care has been reaccredited once again, as a Comprehensive Education Institute by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The three-year reaccreditation achievement reflects the Center’s excellent support of educational needs for the broad spectrum of learners in and outside of UC Davis Health System, and its contributions in advancing the science of simulation-based education.

Physicians and nurses, as well as students, benefit from training opportunities in the Center for Virtual Care. Physicians and nurses, as well as students, benefit from training opportunities in the Center for Virtual Care.

The ACS accreditation program was established to enhance patient safety and address competencies that all surgeons and non-surgeons alike need to achieve and demonstrate.  Accredited centers must demonstrate that they enrich access to contemporary education, help hospitals and surgical departments maintain licensing certifications and ensure that learners enjoy a well-developed curriculum using simulation that enables them to practice new skills in a no-risk environment – one that doesn’t compromise patient safety or comfort.

“With patient simulation systems, we can create a virtual hospital environment using sophisticated software, video graphics and life-size mannequins that allow learners to practice new procedures, respond to real-life patient scenarios, and hone their clinical skills,” said Aaron Bair, professor of emergency medicine and the center’s medical director. “What sets UC Davis apart from other programs is that we have the facilities, equipment and personnel that allow us to offer educational activities ranging from the most basic surgical procedures to complex scenarios involving interprofessional team dynamics and crisis-resource management. The center is designed for everyone from a first-year student to the most seasoned attending.”

UC Davis Center for Virtual Care © UC Regents
The center features an impressive array of simulation equipment and task trainers..

The ACS accreditation program is a voluntary, peer-review process.  Institutions like UC Davis must demonstrate compliance with 31 criteria in four ACS standards: Learners and Scope of Educational Programs; Curriculum Development, Delivery of Effective Education and Assessment; Administration, Management and Governance; and Advancement of the Field.  The Center for Virtual Care was commended as an “outstanding institute,” recognized for its tremendous space and equipment assets, the staff’s exemplary customer service, and the leadership’s development of simulation-based education “not only within the Institute, but in the entire California region.”  

The reviewer also identified the center’s program for developing new instructors and scholars, and pairing them with skilled simulation faculty champions as a best practice that will be shared broadly.  “The center’s success is dependent on numerous individuals and champions,” said Bair.  “We are fortunate to have an increasing number of educators interested in instructional innovation.  By continuing to build a cadre of colleagues proficient in the use simulation and other technology-based educational approaches, UC Davis is transforming the way health education is delivered.”

The Center for Virtual Care, which is housed within the Center for Health and Technology, was established in 2002 and has been instrumental in advancing UC Davis’ educational mission of patient safety and interprofessional, quality care. In recent years the center has experienced a significant increase in demand for its educational services, hosting nearly 1,300 classes and over 35,000 learner hours last year alone.