This Innovation Changes Everything


The HESS Mission: Healthcare Education Simulation Tools - affordable by anyone, accessible to everyone

The Challenge:
Utilizing technology-enabled Active Learning and Simulation approaches in healthcare education are now well accepted ways to enhance learning. According to Working Nurse "advanced technology is improving the quality and safety of patient care by allowing nurses to practice their skills and use critical thinking in a realistic but calm, non-intimidating environment before facing real-life experiences as a professional nurse." From learning basic assessment skills to practicing for rare or high-risk situations, Active Learning and Simulation are rapidly improving healthcare education.

But the high costs associated with technology-enabled Active Learning and Simulation are often out of reach for many healthcare educators – especially those in developing countries. Freestanding simulation centers total an estimated $200,000 to $1.6 million for start-up costs (Tuoriniemi & Schott-Baer, 2008) and according to a National Council of State Boards of Nursing report, annual fixed costs were estimated at $361,425. Additionally, operating the simulation technology often requires specialized knowledge and skills that many healthcare educators do not possess.

The Innovation:
In 2016, however, an innovative idea proposed by experienced simulation professional Stephanie Justice, MSN, RN, CHSE offered a new approach to the challenge. What if basic medical devices measuring vital signs could be simulated and controlled by an instructor to reflect whatever vital signs were needed? She reasoned that such “fake devices” would be much less costly than high-fidelity manikins, plus they would be more flexible and therefore more accessible and useful to learners. By using low cost Android tablets and new Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the idea was prototyped and then developed into a set of healthcare education tools call the HESS – the Healthcare Education Simulation Station.

The Result:
The HESS is proving itself to be easy to use for virtually any healthcare educator regardless of whether they have specialized simulation knowledge or not. It has been adopted by numerous university programs – at both large and small schools – as well as by hospital groups for use by their clinical healthcare educators who provide ongoing education to nurses and physicians in practice. Since the HESS runs on the internationally used, multi-lingual capable Android platform, it has been translated into Spanish to help bring 21st century technology-enabled Active Learning / Simulation based healthcare education to Spanish speaking healthcare educators and learners.

The HESS contains everything needed to conduct affordable, portable, easy to use and effective Simulation and Active Learning based training anywhere by Healthcare Educators in any role. The HESS easily enables critical thinking Healthcare Education exercises involving Assessment, Cardiac, Respiratory, OB and many other issues - using a choice of manikins, simulators, skill/task trainers or standardized patients. The HESS offers the potential to enable better healthcare education - and therefore better healthcare outcomes - through advanced technology-enabled Active Learning / Simulation healthcare education

The HESS is utilized by Healthcare Educators in a variety of school and practice settings in the United States and internationally.

The HESS Project Leadership:


Chief Innovator: Stephanie Justice, MSN, RN, CHSE

Stephanie is a nursing professional with substantial expertise in simulation based education. Stephanie's understanding of the objectives and methods of simulation based education at their fundamental levels have enabled her to have the vision to introduce the innovative and disruptive concepts and ideas that have expanded into the HESS toolset that enables affordable and accessible simulation based education to be utilized by anyone. Stephanie is currently the Graduate Simulation Coordinator at The Ohio State University College of Nursing and is pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP).



Chief Maker: Jeffrey Becker, MBA

An engineer with an MBA, Jeff has the ability to move data from sensors to the cloud and back. Cursed from an early age with the ability to understand math, science and technology, Jeff just wants to make cool things with technology that make the world a better place. Leading the development of the software, firmware and hardware to support the mission and objectives of HESS project is a perfect fit. Jeff is currently Chief Maker at edgeThingZ, LLC.



OB Innovator: Christine Zamaripa, MSN, RN, C-EFM

Chris is a Nurse Educator with almost two decades of OB educational practice experience, both in academic and clinical settings. Her experiences in OB education were the driving force behind the addition of the powerful Electronic Fetal Monitor simulator to the HESS toolset, which she has integrated not only into simulation, but also into the classroom as a teaching-learning tool. Chris is currently an Instructor within Otterbein University's Department of Nursing and is pursuing a PhD in Nursing Education.



Globilization Strategist: Kathryn Tschiegg, RN

With decades of commitment and experience bringing improved healthcare services, education and outcomes to Central America, Kathy recognizes the potential of the HESS project to positively impact healthcare educational efforts globally. Kathy is the founder CAMO USA & Fundación CAMO Honduras and currently serves as the Executive Director of CAMO USA and the International Director of Fundación CAMO Honduras.



Startup Talent Strategist: Erin Bender

Erin has an extensive background in technology commercialization and leads the efforts to enable startup tenant companies at The Point at Otterbein University to utilize student talent in mutually beneficial ways. Erin's guidance with regard to involving student talent in "experiential learning" opportunities has greatly accelerated the technology development that has been crucial to the success of the HESS project. Erin is currently the Executive Director of The Point at Otterbein University. She also co-manages C.A.B.B. Farms, LLC, a 65-acre family farm in Lexington, Ohio, that specializes in natural grass-fed and finished Angus cattle and hay production.


The HESS Project Partners:


The Otterbein University Department of Nursing:

The Otterbein University Department of Nursing provides the HESS project with ideas, expertise and guidance within a strong, well respected Nursing Program. Virtually every HESS project initiative got it's first real trial with Otterbein Nursing Students within the Otterbein Department of Nursing facilities. The collaboration between the Otterbein University Department of Nursing and edgeThingZ remains fundamental to the success and acceptance of the HESS by Healthcare Educators globally. The results of this strong relationship are characterized within an academic paper about the HESS project collaboration: Haverkamp et al. (2019). Transforming nursing education through interprofessional collaborative innovation: A project story. Computers, Informatics, Nursing Journal. Accepted for publication July 19, 2019.



The Point at Otterbein University:

This collaborative effort between Otterbein University and The City of Westerville is home to the edgeThingZ Product Realization Hub. It is also home to the Otterbein Department of Engineering - where students participate with businesses in "experiential learning" efforts designing, engineering and producing real world solutions. An example of the potential of this collaborative "experiential learning" approach is this VCC Case Study that features results achieved by Otterbein Engineering Students working together with edgeThingZ on aspects of the HESS.



CAMO - The Central American Medical Outreach:

CAMO - The Central American Medical Outreach - improves the quality of life of people in Central America by strengthening health care systems and promoting sustainable community development. CAMO has embraced the affordable and accessible HESS as a way to bring valuable technology based Healthcare Simulation Training capabilities to Central America. CAMO acts as the distributor of the HESS tools within Central America and guides the HESS project initiatives that impact international usage of the HESS in the region.



The National Association of Hispanic Nurses:

The Central Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses has joined with Otterbein University and CAMO to facilitate communication and exchange between HESS project contributors and Spanish speaking Healthcare Educators utilizing the HESS. Central Ohio NAHN members are pivotal in providing multi-lingual support and expertise for the often challenging concepts and terminiology within the healthcare environment.




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