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After receipt of the grant from Helmsley, the three trucks were ordered from Rosenbauer in South Dakota. Rosenbauer is a company that primarily builds fire trucks, but they have custom built MobileSim trucks for North and South Dakota and now Montana and Nebraska. Delivery of the trucks took almost15 months.
While waiting delivery of the trucks, an advisory group representing hospitals, EMS, universities, colleges and others was formed in 2016 and they met numerous times to discuss project strategies and operations. Any idea related activities that would help MobileSim be successful and sustainable were put on the table and discussed.
Formation of Simulation in Motion Montana, Inc. in the fall of 2016, Simulation in Motion Montana, Inc. (also dba MobileSim Montana) was formed as a 501c3 non-profit entity that will assist DPHHS in planning and implementing operations, governance and long-term sustainability of the project. In addition to a Board of Directors, the corporation membership includes an advisory committee representing the same stakeholders who had already been meeting from some time.
In January 2017, DPHHS awarded MobileSim Montana a contract which formally enables DPHHS to pass funds through to them for implementation of grant activities. Primary use of grant funds is dedicated to contracting with a Project Management Entity for day-to- day operations, but MobileSim will also be able to fund operational activities such as corporate administration through the Montana Medical Association.
MobileSim / Best Practice Medicine contract MobileSim Montana’s first activity was to release a Request for Proposal for a Project Management Entity that would oversee day-to- day operations of the project including hiring and training of instructors, scheduling of training events, marketing and evaluation. Pursuant to a thorough response to the RFP, Best Practice Medicine was awarded the PME contract in July.
The planning and preparations to get three MobileSim trucks staffed and ready have kept BPM very busy. Each truck will be staffed with a full-time Simulation Team Leader and several part-time Simulation Specialists. Equipment and supplies for the emergency room and ambulance bay for each truck have been ordered. Initial training from CAE Healthcare, the manikin vendor, was provided in late July and additional staff training on the manikins and implementation of simulation education is scheduled for September. BPM is moving ever closer to planned rollout of mobile simulation events in October/November.
In general, the three mobile simulation trucks will be deployed regionally. One truck will be based in Kalispell and provide training events in western Montana. A second truck will be based in Bozeman and will provide events on the I-90 corridor. While the base of the third truck is still being decided, it will offer events on the high line.
The MobileSim Montana Board of Directors are currently finalizing the charging procedures for simulation education events. A standardize format will be utilized to calculate the actual costs of the event (travel, staff time, truck operations, etc.). With the addition of an indirect rate to support future operations and sustainability, an event charge proposal will be provided.
While the bulk of the Helmsley grant has been utilized to purchase the trucks, manikins and supplies, three years of operations funding was included to help jump start the program. Operations are funded
on a sliding scale – 100% in the first year; 66% in the second year; and 33% in the third year. While many events in the first year will be at no cost or low cost, a business plan that accommodates for increasing revenues over the next years will be essential to the sustainability of the project.
The funding and the grant emphasize delivery of simulation education to rural critical access hospital and EMS communities. Over this next year, a couple of simulation events will be offered to these CAH/EMS communities at no cost. (A zero-balance invoice will be provided for each event so that the community can assess the value of these offerings and include them in future budgets). Depending upon actual operations costs, a limited number of other events will be provided at low cost or no cost. Offerings to entities with training budgets or other funding will be most welcome as the long-term sustainability of MobileSim Montana will depend upon future revenues meeting operational costs.
Anyone can request training through the Simulation Request Form. After submitting requested information, a Best Practice Medicine Simulation Team Leaders will contact the entity for further information and scheduling. This follow up will occur within 24 hours of request submission during normal business hours.
To economize on staff time and operational expenses, BPM will also be scheduling training circuits, especially for CAH/EMS community events. Scheduling three or four locations over the course of a week will save travel and event costs for each location. BPM Simulation Team Leaders will soon be contacting CAH/EMS locations for availability on planned circuits.
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