ASTEC opened on August 5, 2005, and has now begun its 7th year of operation. Over the past several years, we experienced an exponential growth in utilization rates as demand for simulation training increased, both at the University of Arizona Health Network (UAHN) and from external first-responder organizations. Chronic overcrowding became the norm in our heavily used facility.
To accommodate our burgeoning training commitments, ASTEC relocated into a new facility in the College of Medicine in January 2012. By increasing the size of our available training space to 2,600 square feet, we are now able to provide simultaneous training sessions with different training groups. We can process an entire class of medical students in one day. Using collapsible room partitions, we can change the landscape of our training space to simulate any environment, a particularly effective option for first-responder organizations. A video outlining our facility’s radical design and productive layout has been selected for recognition at the November 2012 meeting, in San Francisco, of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). The video’s title is “Future Trends in Design of Clinical Simulation Facilities – Maximum Utilization through Minimalist Design.”
Since 2005, our laboratory has provided a consistently high volume of simulation technology and education services for numerous UAHN departments as well as external first-responder organizations.
ASTEC increased its utilization rates for all categories of participants during 2011-12, resulting in a cumulative total of 7,325 learner contact hours (LCHs) in asingle year, as compared with 6,706 LCHs during 2010-11.
Even with our outstanding new facility,our available training space is 2,500 square feet below the national average for a college of medicine simulation center. Yet our education and training utilization rates are on par with some of the largest medical simulation centers in the nation. Overall annual participant utilization has increased by 9% from the academic year 2010-11. This rate of increase is keeping us on pace for an annual rate of 10,000 LCHs by academic year 2013-14, which qualifies us in the accreditation category of large simulation centers.