The primary role of the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC) is to deliver simulation-based educational activities, primarily to undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, as well as for the continuing professional development of practicing physicians. In addition, the centre tries to focus on interprofessional activities to improve patient care in The Ottawa Hospital.
Founded in 1996 at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the original Ottawa Simulation Centre represented one of only three simulation centres in Canada. Due to the exponential growth in simulation internationally, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa partnered to expand the existing simulation program. On October 14, 2010, the newly named uOSSC opened its doors as the largest simulation centre in Canada with a focus on procedural/surgical skills and high-fidelity manikin simulation. As it exists today, the uOSSC is a 50/50 partnership between the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital in terms of capital and operations.
About the Centre
The simulation centre has an impressive size of 20,000 square feet. The uOSSC features four full-scale clinical simulation areas (two operating theatres, an intensive care unit and a resuscitation room), two large procedural skills areas, and six clinical rooms. In addition to this are two large lecture theatres, office space for staff and an expanding research fellowship program.
The physical location of the centre on the Civic Campus of The Ottawa Hospital facilitates the delivery of simulation activities closer to the clinical setting. This promotes deliberate practice either before or just after an actual clinical experience.
The uOSSC’s greatest asset is its large cadre of expert faculty who possess formal education training with a particular focus on simulation-based education. Being located in the nation’s capital also has its benefits of allowing the centre to collaborate on national objectives in patient safety with groups like Health Canada, the Royal College of Physicians Surgeons Canada (RCPSC), the National Research Council (NRC), and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI). These collaborations include input on accreditation standards for simulation centres to guide best education practices.
A Vision to Improve Patient Safety & Patient Care
The uOSSC’s dedication to improving medical education has also translated into improved patient care. One of the ways the uOSSC improves patient care and patient safety is through its cutting-edge research program, which attempts to elevate the level of evidence for simulation-based education. The partnership between The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa ensures direct access to the researchers and resources necessary to advance the field.
The uOSSC has also established a Fellowship in Education/Simulation under the umbrella of the Academy for Innovation in Medical Education (AIME) at the University of Ottawa. The purpose of this fellowship is to initiate the process of preparing candidates for academic careers as clinician-educators. To date, this program has achieved international recognition with recruits from as far away as the United Kingdom and West China.
Kevin Thomas, Manager