ATEC Project is Finalist at International Serious Games Competition
GLIMPSE Aims to Improve Communication Between Health Care Professionals, Enhance Patient Safety, Outcomes

Dr. Loper rendering from ATEC's Serious Games

Dr. Loper is one of the characters in GLIMPSE, a game that seeks to improve communication between physicians and nurses.

A new game born out of a collaboration involving UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology (ATEC) program, The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Baylor Scott & White Health is a finalist in an international serious games competition.

The game-based simulation called GLIMPSE (Game to Learn Important Communications Methods for Patient Safety Enhancement) is being used in research on communication practices among physicians and nurses.

“GLIMPSE features a robust educational curriculum,” said Dr. Marjorie Zielke, director of ATEC’s Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab and ATEC’s principal investigator on the project. “We designed the game for busy health care professionals. The curriculum content is broken down into short episodes using audio, video and 3-D virtual game play to allow perspective sharing and situational learning.”

The project, which made its debut in October, is funded by a $969,604 grant from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

Dr. Mary E. Mancini, professor, associate dean and chair for undergraduate nursing programs at UT Arlington’s College of Nursing, is the project’s principal investigator on the grant. A UT Dallas team led by Zielke constructed the game in collaboration with Mancini. Also on the project were Baylor Scott & White Health’s Dr. Yan Xiao, director of patient safety research, and Susan Houston, director of nursing research.

Glimpse, ATEC's serious games

GLIMPSE offers situational learning through conversations with the game's characters. Its players must select appropriate responses to a nurse or physician.  

GLIMPSE is a finalist in the Business Category of the 2013 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge − one of 18 finalists out of 50 games submitted. Winners will be announced at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) this month. I/ITSEC is the world’s largest modeling and simulation conference.

Mancini, past president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, said the project’s use of game technology is unique. She hopes its benefits will be far-reaching.

“Research has shown that communication is a contributing factor in the majority of cases resulting in near-misses and actual patient harm,” Mancini said. “By improving the ability of health care professionals to communicate with each other, GLIMPSE will enhance patient safety and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.”

Dr. Marjorie Zielke

Dr. Marjorie Zielke

The project is also one of six finalists being evaluated for the Adaptive Force Award – this year’s Special Emphasis Award. According to the conference website, Adaptive Force games encourage the player to repeatedly try new or different strategies to solve problems while considering feedback with the purpose of improving overall success.

The selection of GLIMPSE as a finalist in the serious games competition marks the ninth time that Zielke’s projects have been nominated for national and international awards. Should GLIMPSE win, it will be the eighth major award in the last few years for Zielke’s lab. 

“The ongoing lab recognition is a real tribute to our students, researchers, faculty and staff, and the overall support we get from our administration for our research,” said Zielke.

Zielke also serves as the vice president for education for the Society for Modeling & Simulation International and the deputy chair of the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition.

“The fact that we continue to win and be finalists in extremely competitive events shows the depth of strength across all of our research teams,” she said.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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