Schoolcraft College, is a public community college that enrolls 36,000 students per year offering both certificate and associate degree programs in Livonia, Garden City, and online. In cooperation with nearby Botsford Hospital and Garden City Hospital, Schoolcraft recently completed construction on a state-of-the-art Health Professions Simulation Lab (HPSL) in its Biomedical Technology Center. The HPSL features a birthing room, a procedure room, and two patient rooms. Using sophisticated medical mannequins and hospital-grade equipment, all four rooms are flexible enough to present common and rare situations to which health care professionals must be trained to respond appropriately. A comprehensive monitoring system using Symetrix’ SymNet digital audio processing and B-Line Medical SimCapture recording technologies allows students, with the help of their instructors, to review and improve their performances.
Integrated Design Solutions of Troy, Michigan designed the audio and video capture systems, and Sound Engineering of Livonia, Michigan installed it. “It’s really a sight to behold,” said Barry Gilbert, sales engineer for Sound Engineering. “The B-Line medical mannequins simulate blinking and breathing. Their pupils dilate appropriately in response to different stimuli under different medical scenarios. But that’s only the beginning. The mannequins, the equipment, several video cameras, and several microphones all send signal to a B-Line SimCapture device, which records the session and facilitates its playback during debriefing.” In addition to usage by Schoolcraft’s students, the new HPSL facility will be used by the school’s clinical partners at area medical institutions.
Each of the four rooms contains compact Panasonic video cameras located in strategic locations (e.g. at the head, foot, and sides of the bed, where equipment is located, above the scrub sink, etc.), which, together with two-way audio from Revolabs wireless microphones, routes through an AMX control device before entering the SimCapture hardware and software. Four SimCapture systems are used in all, one per room. The AMX controller allows the instructor to select which of six to ten input sources, including video and instrumentation output, will be recorded on SimCapture’s four video channels. Even the room’s simulation computer, where students or clinical partners can look up simulated medical records for the mannequins, presents a screen shot to the SimCapture system.
In addition to the four simulation rooms, the new center includes a centralized control room behind two-way glass and two debriefing rooms. It is from within the control room that instructors orchestrate the medical simulations and choose which items to record for later playback. The debriefing rooms facilitate simulation playback in an environment that encourages student self-reflection. For the school’s clinical partners, the debriefing rooms even have a simple means to record the debriefing! That ability is a statutory requirement that allows the new facility to be state-certified.
With one for every simulation room, four SymNet (no relation to SimCapture) 8x8 DSP units handle input and output routing, as well as signal conditioning, for all audio paths. Inputs include microphones in the simulation rooms, as well as talkback microphones from the control room. Outputs include the SimCapture system, JBL loudspeakers within the simulation rooms and control room (powered by Crown amplifiers), and ear sets that can be worn by the instructor or individuals participating in a simulation. “The eight inputs and eight outputs of the SymNet 8x8 DSP serve this installation perfectly,” said Gilbert. “There’re almost all used up. And despite the complexity of situation, it was very easy for us to configure the open-architecture 8x8 DSPs to route high-fidelity audio under any scenario. It was also easy to integrate them into the AMX control structure.”