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UT Center for Advanced Medical Simulation Earns Top Accreditation

The University of Tennessee Center for Advanced Medical Simulation recently became the only facility in Tennessee and one of just 67 in the world to earn accreditation as a Level I Comprehensive Accredited Education Institute (AEI) from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The Level I designation is the top accreditation available. The co-directors of the center believe the accreditation reflects the availability of advanced education and training through simulation in the Knoxville region.

"With accreditation comes the opportunity and encouragement to collaborate with other institutes on research efforts," said Dr. Leonard Hines, co-director of the UT Center for Advanced Medical Simulation. "This will expand our initiatives directed toward continually improving the quality of medical education and patient safety."

Hines and co-director Dr. Paul Huffstutter, both longtime vascular and general surgeons, are assistant professors at the UT Graduate School of Medicine on the campus of The University of Tennessee Medical Center. They’ve seen the center expand from 400 to 6,500 square feet since it opened in 2007. The co-directors said they appreciate that new and experienced clinicians, regardless of healthcare system affiliation, can train and advance their skills at the center.

"Achieving accreditation is more than a reflection of the continued emphasis on excellence in education and technological advances at the Graduate School of Medicine and UT Medical Center," said Huffstutter, "It also encourages the availability of simulation activities to all members of the healthcare team in the entire region. In promoting safer and higher quality healthcare, the center is a valuable asset to the medical community and the many patients served."

The designation of Level I Comprehensive AEI denotes compliance at the UT Center for Advanced Medical Simulation with the rigorous standards set by the ACS:

About the American College of Surgeons- Accredited Education Institute program
The AEI accreditation program is a voluntary peer-review process. Receiving accreditation involves submitting an extensive application that reflects compliance with stringent standards. Following acceptance of the application by the AEI, a site visit by experts must validate the application. The Accreditation Review Committee then reviews the application and either approves or denies accreditation. Institutions that successfully complete the process are approved for a period of three years before reaccreditation is required.

Established by the American College of Surgeons’ Division of Education, the AEI Consortium accredited its first institutes in 2006. Today the consortium is a network of 67 Level I and nine Level II ACS-AEIs.

About the University of Tennessee Center for Advanced Medical Simulation
The University of Tennessee Center for Advanced Medical Simulation is a 6,500-square-foot multidisciplinary facility that offers a setting for physicians, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers throughout the region to improve individual skills and practice team skills critical to patient safety. It also enables advanced education for residents, fellows, and medical students from the Graduate School of Medicine and other institutions. In addition to virtual reality technology, the center also provides low- and mid-fidelity training equipment essential for refining skills for virtually all healthcare professionals.

For a video tour of the UT Center for Advanced Medical Simulation, visit www.utmedicalcenter.org/frontiers-videos/#tour. Visit http://gsm.utmck.edu/ for more information.

January 23, 2012

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