El Paso Leads the Way in Clinical Simulation
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El Paso Leads the Way in Clinical Simulation

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine simulation center is recognized among the best with new accreditation.

Written by Lisa Ruley

Education through simulation improves future patient outcomes as students become doctors

Education through simulation improves future patient outcomes as students become doctors.

With a new accreditation, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine has entered into an elite group of institutions.

The Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine is now one of only 27 simulation centers accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and the only one in Texas. It is one of just 10 SSH-accredited simulation centers belonging to a school of medicine.

This accreditation ensures excellence in multi-specialty health care education, practice and research through simulation modalities on the El Paso campus.

“Simulation is still relatively new – 15 to 20 years old,” said Hoi Ho, M.D., associate academic dean for faculty affairs and development, and director of the ATACS. “Prior to the establishment of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, there were no standards in simulation.”

Established in 2004, the SSH represents the rapidly growing group of educators and researchers who utilize a variety of simulation techniques for education, testing and health care research.

Ho said the accreditation process began with a self-assessment of the program along with preparation of the application, which consisted of several hundred pages. Ho and his staff were tasked with proving they met or exceeded standards set by SSH, which included proof that the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine administration was dedicated to the growth and success of the center, and qualified staff were on hand to deliver teaching and training.

“This accreditation means that we mean business,” Ho said. “We are in the business of simulation and recognized for the best standards.”

Located on the third floor of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Medical Education Building, the 13,000-square-foot space uses advanced technology and equipment to support innovative learning methods for medical students and residents, which will ultimately translate into better patient care as students become doctors.

Through evaluation of the center, officials with the SSH recognized the ATACS for the amount of contact hours staff spent with students and the amount of heart they brought to the center.

“Each person on this team has contributed his or her best to this simulation center,” Ho said. “We don’t want to be second best. We want to be considered the leader in clinical simulation.”

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Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.


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Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
Paul L. Foster School of Medicine

In 2009, TTUHSC opened the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso. The school is the first, full-fledged medical school on the U.S./Mexico border, which provides education and opportunities for research and health care for El Paso’s underserved residents.

The school’s geographic location allows students to participate in a variety of clinical patient care learning experiences that include not only traditional medicine, but also international, bi-national, bi-cultural and border health medicine.