About Us
    Clinical Trial Simulation


Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center
Duke University Medical Center
Box 3094
Durham, NC 27710

Phone 919-684-3661
Fax 919-684-6251

Simulation Center Brochure

Links follwed by the symbol require Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®.

The Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center is a joint project of the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the Department of Anesthesiology at Duke University. The Center is directed by Jeffrey Taekman, M.D. who is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and the Assistant Dean for Educational Technology within the School of Medicine. The lab is committed to advancing the state-of-the-art in medical education and educational technologies.

News and Events

HSPSC wins Stemmler Grant

Our proposal, Standardized Teamwork Skills Assessment: Feasibility, Reliability, and Validity was one of three funded by the Edward J. Stemmler Medical Education Research Fund of the National Board of Medical Examiners. The $149,300 will be used to further validate our unique method of healthcare teamwork assessment using standardized team members.

3DiTeams featured on WTVD News11

March 4, 2008. WTVD featured a story on 3DiTeams (our virtual environment for team training built in collaboration with Durham-based Virtual Heroes).

SimSingularity Launched

January 31, 2008. Jeff Taekman launches SimSingularity; A blog focusing technology, simulation, gaming, robotics and immersive learning in healthcare. SimSingularity replaces the SimBlog.

HSPSC GSK Patient Safety Day Success

March 6, 2007 was designated as GSK Patient Safety Day. On this day over 500 students from the Duke and UNC Schools of Medicine and Nursing came together to learn about patient safety. The day-long health care team training activity included interactive team training methods such as simulation and role play. This grant, led by Dr. Dzau of Duke University Health System and Dr. Roper of the University of North Carolina Health Care System, was made possible by GlaxoSmithKline. This was the culmination of a year-long planning process conducted by multidisciplinary teams from both universities.  The lessons learned are now being integrated into the second year of the program.

Taekman and Wright receive AHRQ Funding

Jeffrey Taekman and Melanie Wright received a 2-year $291,248 award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality entitled Virtual Health Care Environments Versus Traditional Interactive Team Training. The project compares a three-dimensional network virtual reality simulation with interactive team training to demonstrate how high-technology simulations can contribute to teaching safe behaviors.

Taekman and Wright receive TATRC Funding

Jeffrey Taekman and Melanie Wright received a 1-year $249,530 award from the Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center, a division of the United States Army Medical Research & Materiel Command (USAMRMC), to conduct a study entitled “3DiTeams: Gaming Environment for Training Healthcare Team Coordination Skills”.

Taekman appointed to new ASA Simulation Committee

Jeff Taekman was appointed to a two-year term on the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Simulation Education.

Melanie Wright receives an NIH Independent Scientist Award

Melanie Wright was recently awarded an NIH Independent Scientist Award by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, titled "Information Management in the Perioperative Environment". This is a 5-year award beginning 8/1/2006 with total costs of $480,000.

The independent scientist award provides support for newly independent scientists who can demonstrate a need for a period of intensive research focus. This award is intended to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research.

Dr. Wright's research plan involves the use of a human centered design process to improve the design of perioperative information displays to support anesthesia monitoring and crisis management support. [more...]

Using high fidelity patient simulation to evaluate clinical research trial design

The Simulation Center, in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesiology, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), and the Global Perioperative Research Organization (GPRO), has published an article describing the use of high fidelity patient simulation to evaluate clinical trial design in Contemporary Clinical Trials.

DURHAM, N.C. – Computer-controlled simulated patients can improve the design of clinical trials before any real patients are even enrolled, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found. Their new finding follows an earlier Duke study that such simulated patients can improve the performance of clinical trial coordinators. Such patient simulators are basically lifelike computer-controlled mannequins that can mimic the physiological responses of living patients to procedures. [more...]

Simulation Center wins APSF Research Grant and Ellison C. Pierce, Jr. Education Award

The Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center and the Department of Anesthesiology received a grant from the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation to study objective measures of performance in anesthesia care. The research team includes Melanie Wright, PI, Jeffrey Taekman, Co-PI, Jonathan Mark, Mark Stafford-Smith, Gene Hobbs, Barbara Phillips-Bute, and Bryan Andregg. The team will compare objective measures of anesthesia care performance with respect to their sensitivity to provider experience and simulated anesthesia case difficulty. The objective measures will include eye scan behavior and responses to situation awareness probes and will be compared to more commonly used measures such as observer ratings based on checklists. [more...]

NINDS/ORI Grant to Study Errors in Clinical Research

Jeffrey Taekman, M.D., along with co-investigators, Melanie Wright, Ph.D., and Mark Stafford-Smith, M.D., received a two-year, $267,415 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Office of Research Integrity. These funds will help conduct his research project entitled "Defining the Learning Curve in Research Trials". The goal of this study is to first define a taxonomy to categorize and quantify clinical research error rates in a reproducible fashion. The taxonomy will then be applied to define baseline error rates and the learning curve in a recently completed NIH funded multi-center clinical trial.

Clinical Trial Coordinators Benefit from Simulation Training

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University Medical Center researchers have gathered evidence that training clinical trial coordinators on computer-controlled simulated patients before the beginning of a trial could reduce the potential risks to real patients.

The researchers said their findings indicate that the use of human simulators provides a key element of effective learning – interactivity – that traditional training programs can lack. For this reason, they argue that human simulation training should be an integral part of any complex clinical trial. MORE



Jeffrey Taekman, MD (cv)(email)

Associate Director
Sharon Hawks, CRNA

Director of Research
Senior Human Factors Engineer

Melanie Wright, PhD (cv)

Gene Hobbs, CHT

Human Factors Engineer
Noa Segall, PhD

Advisory Committee
Ed Buckley, MD
Jonathan Mark, MD
J. Victor Nadler, PhD
Mark Newman, MD
Barbara Turner, RN, DNSc, FAAN

Bob Blessing, MS
Charles S. Brudney, MD
Peter Dwane, MD
John Eck, MD
Ellen Flanagan, MD PhD
Lou Hodgins, MD
Stuart Grant, MD
Katherine Grichnik, MD
Richard Ing, MD
Nancy Knudsen, MD
John Keifer, MD
Cathy Kuhn, MD
Judith Margolis, MD
Jonathan Mark, MD
Eugene Moretti, MD
Meredith Muncy, CRNA, MS
Adeyemi Olufolabi, MD
Cathleen Peterson-Layne, MD, PhD
Erin Rose, MD
Becky Schroeder, MD
Bret Stolp, MD, PhD
Jim Temo, CRNA, MSN, MBA

Resident Facilitators
Mingda Chen, MD
Fiona Hart, MD

Comments or Suggestions? Contact the Webmaster
[ Department of Anesthesiology | School of Medicine | School of Nursing ]