WILL Interactive and HHS Partner to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections

Each year, approximately 100,000 people die from healthcare-associated infections in the United States. In addition, healthcare expenditures to address the consequences of these infections exact $28 to $33 billion annually. To address this challenge, WILL Interactive, America’s most experienced and highly recognized developer of computer-based video training simulations, is pleased to announce the release of Partnering to Heal: Team Up to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections (http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hai/training/).

Developed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Partnering to Heal is a Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulation (VEILSR) created by Vetwork Learning Solutions using WILL’s patented Interactive Behavior Modification System.  The simulation was honored earlier this month with the Horizon Interactive Awards’ Gold Medal for “Best Training/Instructional Video.”

In Partnering to Heal, users assume the roles of four different characters.  They make decisions as those characters that increase or reduce their infection risk and experience the outcomes of their decisions. Available at the HHS website and on DVD-ROM, Partnering to Heal promotes a team-based approach to helping prevent illnesses and deaths from Healthcare Associated Infections. It is designed to help clinicians, other healthcare personnel, visitors, and patients prevent infections that are all too often acquired in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

“The Partnering to Heal project is one that is universally important,” said Sharon Sloane, CEO and co-founder of WILL Interactive. “Healthcare-associated infections and the serious consequences arising from their incidence tangentially affect all Americans, and present a serious and continuing threat to public health.”

Formative research conducted before the training project was initiated showed a need for training to address cultural and communication competencies within healthcare settings, with a focus on empowering the entire healthcare team, including the patient.

Partnering to Heal focuses on preventing the most prevalent infections through knowledge of universal and isolation precautions.  The simulation is designed to increase knowledge, alter attitudes, and change the behaviors of practitioners, patients and visitors by focusing on teamwork, communication, hand-washing, vaccination against flu, and the appropriate use of antibiotics and medical devices.

WILL Interactive’s methodology has been shown in previous research to enhance critical thinking skills, promote knowledge acquisition, and change behavior.  It has been used to create seventy simulations and has been the subject of five independent pilot evaluations. The most notable among these was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Boston University School of Public Health which found that, relative to comparison students, students who engaged in the training met 90 percent of outcome measures, indicating training effectiveness.