Critical to the success of any medical education center is presenting the students, proctors and simulated patients with an organized learning and testing workflow.

Proper conception and design of wayfinding, room scheduling and information displays, observation camera systems and network enabled control interfaces is required to keep the center running smoothly. No longer simply focused on presentation playback for lectures, new advances in medical education pedagogy including small group learning and medical simulation have made AV systems a critical component to any new facility.

Cerami & Associates is currently engaged in consulting services for two major medical education facilities in the New York area; Columbia University’s Graduate Medical Education Building and The State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn’s New Academic Building for the School of Public Health.  Both facilities are designed around two primary functions; instructional and medical simulation education.

Instructional Spaces
Columbia’s goal for instructional space systems is to create classrooms that allow for both traditional lectures and group learning coursework through the use of IT enabled content sharing. To allow the education program to meet needs beyond the available square footage rooms are divisible, furniture is reconfigurable and a scheduling and room booking system has been designed to allow for off-hours use.

Unique to Columbia’s classrooms will be the deployment of content sharing applications to student provided laptops, tablets and personal computing devices. These applications allow students to augment lectures with additional content or develop new discussion topics on the fly.

Medical Simulation Spaces
SUNY’s new medical simulation facility design is typical of medical education facilities looking to expand existing ad-hoc medical simulation suites into fully equipped, standards based, medical simulation programs. A floor of typical hospital spaces including (16) patient exam, (6) universal patient, and operating room and a multipurpose facility along with (4) debriefing rooms, (4) control rooms, an actor debriefing room, AV server room and a facility viewing and control corridor are included.

A major component of any medical simulation program is the ability to monitor, record and remotely control the simulation environments. Discreet camera and microphone systems integrated into the architecture allow multi-channel recordings of all interactions between students and live standardized patients or automated patient simulators. Digital encoding and server based storage systems capture all AV signals and allow for student debriefing sessions with audio, video, simulator data and time-stamp to be played back at once for review. Web enabled control stations give proctors the ability to control environmental factors within the room, simulator status and provide real-time feedback during simulations.

Our Approach
On Medical School and Simulation Center projects such as these we lead an integrated team of AV, acoustical & technology designers through a structured process with the client & project team of needs analysis through commissioning. Working within AIA and architectural directed guidelines with regular meetings, conference calls, coordination and review of proven benchmarks and best practices are all a part of our involvement to support the implementation of technology & design vision.

Cerami’s work on medical simulation spaces starts early in the programming and schematic design phases as we work with the owner’s steering committee and project Architect to evaluate project needs and review comparable existing spaces. Room sizes and locations are optimized to reduce infrastructure requirements and allow for proper audio and video capture equipment positioning. A dedicated IT wiring plant is designed to route the high bandwidth AV signals to control and AV server rooms.

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