8 October 2020, NEW YORK – On World Sight Day, leading eye care NGO Orbis International announces the release of its Simulation Center Manual, a new practical implementation guide for training hospitals and teaching institutions looking to create and run their own ophthalmic simulation centers and training programs. Like all Orbis resources, the manual is available free of charge to ensure that eye care professionals in low- and middle-income countries – where the prevalence of vision impairment is four times greater than in high-income regions – can benefit from it.
Just as pilots learn to fly planes through simulation training before taking off from the runway, simulation training in ophthalmology allows eye care teams to build their skills and confidence safely before progressing to real-life surgeries. Simulation training can benefit every member of the eye care team – including doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists – and has been proven to decrease medical complications, improve the quality of patient care and increase cost savings for health facilities.
Simulation training helps pilots learn to fly planes. Now it's helping eye teams build the skills to provide better care for patients. This #WorldSightDay, @OrbisIntl is helping this powerful innovation get in the hands of even more people #HopeInSight Tweet
Simulation devices – like virtual reality, artificial eyes, and life-like manikins – allow for complex surgical procedures to be broken down into smaller parts, giving eye care professionals the opportunity to practice each step as many times as they need to get it right, something that is not possible with an actual patient. This reduces the learning curve for difficult techniques and accelerates skill acquisition.
“Simulation training is transforming how eye care professionals become masters of their field, and as we equip more institutions with the knowledge to leverage that technology, the ripple effects will be felt far and wide,” said Dr. Danny Haddad, Chief of Programs at Orbis International. “The end goal for all ophthalmic training is a higher quality of care for patients, and simulation training open possibilities for achieving that goal at faster speed, lower cost and with greater results. It is truly a game-changer.”
Experts have predicted that global blindness will triple by the year 2050, but the number of people requiring eye care is already outpacing the number of trained ophthalmologists. The urgent need to increase access to cutting-edge training technologies has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional in-person ophthalmic training has been curtailed by the need for social distancing, forcing teaching institutions to turn toward innovation and technology to ensure eye health professionals can continue to acquire surgical and clinical skills. Simulation training can help fill this gap.
Despite the growing need for ophthalmic simulation training, many training hospitals and teaching institutions have until now lacked guidance on developing simulation training facilities of their own or supporting structured curricula and programs for existing facilities. Further, the price point of cutting-edge innovations like simulation technology have too often kept them out of reach for the eye care professionals who need them most. The manual helps training hospitals and teaching institutions overcome this barrier by providing recommendations that take into account a range of budget constraints and training needs.
The new Simulation Center Manual represents the culmination of Orbis’s experience delivering simulation training to thousands of eye care professionals across several continents and supporting dozens of global partners as they developed and integrated simulation training into their teaching institutions and programs. The manual’s resources include:
Orbis is commemorating the release of the manual with a weeklong virtual symposium – Unlocking the Power of Simulation: A Next-Generation Solution to Training Ophthalmic Professionals – that will bring together thought leaders, educators and practitioners in the field for engaging discussions, demonstrations, case studies and training sessions. The symposium will run 8:00–10:00 a.m. EDT daily from October 12–16, 2020. Learn more and register here.
About Orbis International
Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners, including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world's only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight. For the past nine consecutive years, Orbis has achieved Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, placing Orbis in the top 3% of U.S. charities. To learn more, please visit orbis.org.