CAE Healthcare Gold Sponsored Plenary Address by CHIPS Director Dr. Chad Epps



This afternoon at SimGHOSTS 2018 USA, University of Tennessee's 61,000 sqft Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety Director Dr. Chad Epps provided the afternoon plenary session, Gold Sponsored by CAE Healthcare. Dr. Epps talk covered a comprehensive breakdown of the CHIPS center, providing key design and development insights to the 270+ participants who came from all over the World. SimGHOSTS appreciates CAE Healthcare's continued support of the growing healthcare simulation technology specialists community.

Chad went into greater depth describing the various phases of the building's development:

  • Phase 1: Space programming
  • Phase 2: Schematic Design
  • Phase 3: Design Development
  • Phase 4: Construction Documents
  • Phase 5: Construction
  • Phase 6: Post Construction and Commissioning

Chad explained how the team came together utilizing the concept of a "jigsaw puzzle" to design out the various spaces that met the needs of the various stakeholders. Those various pieces were given to the architects to then create official building schematics. The initial design was deemed to modern compared to the surrounding architecture, and the building was reshaped to include more brick with less metal infrastructure which subsequently through various rounds of internal redesigns to best layout the needed clinical education, administrative, and basic use facilities. Dr. Epps then went into greater detail regarding the labs, high-fidelity simulation labs, pharmacy, medical, nursing and other allied health learning spaces.

Some of the lessons learned were:

  1. The need for enforcing timelines, as the original deadline for completion was supposed to be December 2016 when in actuality the space did not open until mid 2018.
  2. The building needed a redesign to include more HVAC and power in AV rooms, because of the added heat from those technology systems -- which took an additional 3 months. 
  3. Door seals help with noise pollution which are an easy addition.
  4. Don't be the approver of design documents without having a specialist consultant on your team to interpret those documents, so that the intention is agreed upon.
  5. No one knows Sim like you know sim. The phrase "you have seen one sim center means you have seen one sim center".
  6. Circuits: ensure to work with electricians early to look at loads and capacities for power usage.
  7. Make sure your chairs and tables come installed.

Chad ended by sharing that the residency match has dramatically increased since the new building launched -- so clearly the investment pays off!

About the CHIPS Building

The Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation (CHIPS) is a world-class, 45,000-square-foot, standalone simulation facility located at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis. CHIPS is dedicated to improving healthcare training and positively affecting patient safety. Students from the six colleges at UTHSC – Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – participate in activities at CHIPS. CHIPS is also a resource to UTHSC residency programs and UTHSC’s local clinical partners.

About the CHIPS Simulation Program

The Simulation Program is committed to fostering education, research and professional development with a focus on enhanced clinical skills and patient safety through the use of simulation. The Program is supported by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in conjunction with a generous grant awarded by the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. Some activities are also supported by a grant from the Assisi Foundation. 

The Simulation Program supports and facilitates the integration or expansion of clinical simulation (encompassing the use of standardized patients/family members/colleagues, task trainers, high fidelity human patient simulators, or virtual reality simulations) into professional degree programs and residency training programs across the UTHSC. One major focus is the development and implementation of interprofessional learning opportunities with the expressed purpose of bringing together learners from two or more health professions to learn from, with, and about each other, building healthcare teams that work more effectively and improve patient outcomes.

About CAE Healthcare

CAE Healthcare is a healthcare training partner of choice for hospitals, physicians, nurses, students, EMS responders and the military around the world. With a mission to improve patient safety, CAE Healthcare develops each product in partnership with clinical educators whose aim is to ensure physiological accuracy and educational relevance. Visit the CAE Healthcare booth at SG18USA to learn about our newest patient, imaging and interventional simulators, and our LearningSpace solution for center management and debrief. Learn more at!

About Plenary Speaker Chad Epps, MD

Chad Epps MD, Executive Director of Healthcare Simulation Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety, University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chad Epps, MD trained in Anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and completed a fellowship in Human Patient Simulation at Mount Sinai's Human Emulation Education and Evaluation Lab for Patient Safety and Professionalism. He joined UTHSC in 2016 as the Executive Director of Healthcare Simulation. As a fellow, faculty, and director of simulation he has been active in simulation education, research, assessment, and center management since 2004. He has successfully implemented high quality interprofessional simulations across both Universities and Health Systems. Dr. Epps is a past President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and in the past served as Chair of the Council on Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs. He is published in the areas of simulation-based interprofessional education and co-edited the recently released textbook Defining Excellence in Simulation Programs (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014).