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Health Secur. 2018 Nov 29. doi: 10.1089/hs.2018.0055. [Epub ahead of print]

A Pilot Trial of Online Simulation Training for Ebola Response Education.

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Lacey MenkinSmith, MD, is an Assistant Professor and Global Health Fellowship Director, Department of Emergency Medicine; Kathy Lehman-Huskamp, MD, is an Associate Professor, Medical Director, High Risk Infectious Disease Team, and Director of Emergency Management/Disaster Preparedness, Department of Pediatrics; John J. Schaefer, MD, is Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, and Associate Dean for Statewide Clinical Effectiveness Education; Myrtede Alfred, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine; Ken Catchpole, PhD, is Professor, SC SmartState Endowed Chair in Clinical Practice and Human Factors, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine; Brandy Pockrus, RN, is a critical care nurse; Dulaney A. Wilson, PhD, is an Instructor, Public Health Sciences; and J. G. Reves, MD, is Distinguished University Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine; all at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.


This article describes a pilot trial of an internet-distributable online software package that provides course materials and built-in evaluation tools to train healthcare workers in high-risk infectious disease response. It includes (1) an online self-study component, (2) a "hands-on" simulation workshop, and (3) a data-driven performance assessment toolset to support debriefing and course reporting. This study describes a pilot trial of the software package using a course designed to provide education in Ebola response to prepare healthcare workers to safely function as a measurable, high-reliability team in an Ebola simulated environment. Eighteen adult volunteer healthcare workers, including 9 novices and 9 experienced participants, completed an online curriculum with pre- and posttest, 13 programmed simulation training scenarios with a companion assessment tool, and a confidence survey. Both groups increased their knowledge test scores after completing the online curriculum. Simulation scenario outcomes were similar between groups. The confidence survey revealed participants had a high degree of confidence after the course, with a median confidence level of 4.5 out of 5.0 (IQR = 0.5). This study demonstrated the feasibility of using the online software package for the creation and application of an Ebola response course. Future studies could advance knowledge gained from this pilot trial by assessing timely distribution and multi-site effectiveness with standard education.


Epidemic management/response; Hospital preparedness/response; Personal protective equipment; Public health preparedness/response; Viral hemorrhagic fevers


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