Veterans Health Administration Selects Decision Simulation to Support Clinical Training and Education Needs for SimLEARN Program

CHADDS FORD, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Decision Simulation LLC, the leading provider of web-based, branched narrative virtual patient platforms, announced today that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has selected DecisionSimTM as the virtual patient platform for SimLEARN (Simulation, Learning, Education and Research Network). SimLEARN is a national program furthering the advancement of simulation training and education.

As a valuable resource to VHA healthcare educators and providers, SimLEARN provides training through operational strategies and simulation technology in order to meet specific training goals, including those of several national clinical plans.

SimLEARN will leverage DecisionSim so that VHA providers can review and practice systems-based protocols while applying clinical reasoning skills to each situation. These efforts will help providers improve their performance in clinical settings and lead to better patient care. This initial pilot will enable 43,000 VHA employees throughout the U.S. to utilize DecisionSim during the next year. The total contract award is approximately $1 million.

In addition to utilizing the virtual patient authoring and learning platform, DecisionSim will fully integrate with the VHA's talent management system (TMS), facilitating a seamless environment for learners. This integration will also provide case completion data for each learner to the TMS for reporting, review and analysis.

"SimLEARN is the first full-scale, mainstream use of virtual patients, and the VHA's selection of Decision Simulation for this important initiative speaks to the strength of our platform," said James B. McGee, MD, chair of scientific advisory board at Decision Simulation.

With a branched narrative teaching approach, users of DecisionSim explore different decision paths and observe the consequences of their decisions while engaging in deliberate practice in a safe learning environment. This type of learning provides users with immediate feedback on their choices, enabling them to hone their clinical reasoning skills. Authors of the cases that are deployed on the platform also gain access to data reports tracking the learner's decisions and measuring their progress. As a result, educators can measure current practice behavior, identify knowledge or skill gaps and assess the quality of educational programs.

"It is an honor to work with VHA, helping them to further employee learning and education, with the goal of improved patient outcomes," said Bob Yayac, president of Decision Simulation. "Our approach to virtual patients as an effective educational simulation will become an important pillar of the SimLEARN initiative. As quality care and patient safety are top of mind for the healthcare space, the branched narrative approach to virtual patient learning provides the best method for enhancing clinical decision-making skills."

Decision Simulation teamed with Catapult Technology, Ltd., an award-winning, customer-oriented, provider of full-service management consulting and information technology (IT) solutions. Catapult brings to this project its program management expertise, as well as past performance with the VHA.

To learn more, visit Decision Simulation at booth #833 at the Society for Simulation in Healthcare's 12th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) from January 27 - February 1, 2012, in San Diego, California.

About Decision Simulation

DecisionSimTM is a web-based virtual patient platform enabling healthcare providers, academic institutions and professional societies to cost-effectively develop, improve and assess the clinical decision-making skills of their healthcare professionals, staff and students-regardless of topic or level of training. The company was formed in 2010 to commercialize the award-winning virtual patient technology, vpSimTM, developed at the University of Pittsburgh. With an intuitive storyboard interface, educators can create case-based scenarios leveraging the educational power of interactive story-telling. Learners undertake deliberate practice in a safe environment, immediately witnessing the results of their decisions and receive personalized, adaptive feedback. To learn more, visit

About Catapult Technology

Catapult Technology is a leading Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVO) Information Technology contracting firm that provides a wide array of information technology services to the federal government. The company is separated by two divisions: Technology and Management Solutions division serving civilian departments and agencies; and Enterprise Systems division, serving defense and intelligence departments and agencies. Catapult is focused on quality service delivery and has been independently certified as a Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 3 company and is also ISO 20000:2005 and ISO 9001:2008 registered. Catapult was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Learn more at



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